Steve Lazarides

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Steve Lazarides
Born1969 (age 50–51)
Bristol, United Kingdom
OccupationGallerist and Art Promoter
Known forOne time associate of Banksy and promoter of street art

Steve Lazarides (born c. 1969)[1] is a publisher, photographer, collector and curator. He is noted as one of the first figures to help popularise street art, and as an authority on the latest trends in underground art.[2]

Early life[edit]

Steve Lazarides grew up in Bristol, England and[3] studied photography at Newcastle Polytechnic.

Art career[edit]

In the 1980s, he started out with a Nikon F-Type camera documenting his surrounding environments as a rebellious yet determined photography student. He subsequently worked as a photographer for definitive style bibles and cultural trailblazing magazines such as Sleazenation and The Face. Pursuing his passion for creating a visual narrative, Lazarides delved deep into British sub-cultures and portrayed the youth of his generation partaking in underground movements such as the UK Rave scene in the early 90s; skate culture and the rise of outsider street art.

Commissioned by chance to photograph Banksy’s portrait in 1997, he continued to work with the artist in many capacities, including as the anonymous artist’s driver and photographer, before eventually becoming his gallerist.

Lazarides and Banksy also launched the 'Pictures on Walls' website in 2001 to promote graffiti art, and widened their scope to work with a larger roster of street artists.[4] He continued this tradition by creating an in-house print studio, Lazarides Editions, and working closely with the artists to create high quality prints to share with the Art community. The market in street art took off in 2007 only shortly before the 2008 Recession, with Banksy's work, "Laugh Now", selling for £228,000 at auction in early 2008.[4] According to the Financial Times, "If there had been one individual responsible for whipping up and sustaining the fever around urban art, and who stood to lose most from its demise, it was Steve Lazarides."[4]

Lazarides opened up his first gallery in London in 2006, and brought many unknown artist’s in the UK to light including holding Invader’s first UK exhibition, Space Invader’s Invasion London and Rubik Bad Men II.[5] Lazarides now represents artists including the renowned portrait painter Jonathan Yeo, the Parisian artist JR, the contemporary English painter Antony Micallef and Portuguese graffiti/street artist Vhils.[6]

In 2009 he moved headquarters from Charing Cross Road into a five-story Georgian townhouse on Rathbone Place, near Oxford Street, with the first exhibition at the new Lazarides Rathbone being of the Portuguese graffiti artist Vhils, this was also the artists debut UK show.[7] Lazarides Rathbone now forms the flagship Lazarides space with Lazarides Editions creating prints in a separate site (situated in Greenwich). In 2016 Lazarides opened Banksy Print Gallery [8] in South bank’s Mondrian Hotel, the space centers around Steve’s time with Banksy and also offers the chance to buy secondary-market Banksy prints.


Lazarides and Banksy parted ways in 2008 [9]in unexplained circumstances.[4] Lazarides began to broaden his scope to organise shows of art that "would not look out of place on a Turner Prize shortlist".[4]

In recent years Lazarides has organised several ambitious 'pop-up' shows, including Hell's Half Acre in October 2010, held in The Old Vic Tunnels beneath Waterloo station, London.[4][10] He returned to the tunnels in 2011 and 2012, with shows titled Minotaur and Bedlam. The most recent Lazarides off-site venture was in collaboration with The Vinyl Factory in October 2013, titled BRUTAL and taking place at London's 180 The Strand. These pop-up shows have included work by, among others, Doug Foster, Conor Harrington, Lucy McLauchlan, Antony Micallef, Karim Zeriahen, Stanley Donwood, Vhils, Todd James and Ian Francis.[11]

In 2016, Lazarides began exploring his personal photography archive and has spent the last four years carefully sifting through a collection of 100,000 images containing roughly 12,000 photographs[12] he took whilst documenting the birth of a legend. The result is a candid photographic overview of the 11 years Lazarides spent as agent, photographer and right-hand man to one of today’s most famous artist in the form of the books, Banksy Captured Volume I & Volume II.

In his true subversive style, Lazarides self-published and self-distributed the first and second editions of Banksy Captured, resulting in sales of over 25,000 copies within a month, at the end of 2019.[13]


  1. ^ Mikhailova, Anna (13 October 2013). "Steve Lazarides, the gallery owner who backed the street artist, is looking to profit from communist posters". The Sunday Times.(subscription required)
  2. ^ Hershkovits, David (31 January 2011). "Live Nation, Tribeca Film Festival and Banksy's Ex-dealer Plan to Challenge Miami Art Basel". PaperMag. The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
  3. ^ Sooke, Alastair (4 August 2007). "A shop window for outsiders". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Child, Andrew (28 January 2011). "Urban renewal:Steve Lazarides continues to expand his street art empire". The Financial Times. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  5. ^ Lazinc, Steve (5 October 2007). "Invader: Space Invader's Invasion London and Rubik Bad Men". LAZ. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  6. ^ "Artists". LAZ.
  7. ^ Leitch, Luke (11 July 2008). "Steve Lazarides: Graffiti's ?ber-dealer". The Times.(subscription required)
  8. ^ Breen, Matt (25 November 2016). "A Banksy gallery is opening on the South Bank". Time Out London.
  9. ^ Smith, Keily (6 June 2014). "Banksy gets unofficial retrospective". BBC News.
  10. ^ "Artistic Installations to be Shown in Recently Discovered Labyrinth Beneath London's Waterloo Station". ArtDaily. 11 October 2010. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  11. ^ Battersby, Matilda (9 October 2012). "Bedlam? You don't have to be mad to work in the arts, but it helps". Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  12. ^ Peplow, Gemma (2 November 2019). "Banksy - the most revealing photo yet? How his former agent documented art's biggest mystery". Sky News.
  13. ^ Jeffries, Stuart (16 December 2019). "'We were lawless!' Banksy's photographer reveals their scams and scrapes". The Guardian.

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