Stezaker studied at the Slade School of art, graduating in 1973 and immediately becoming part of the burgeoning conceptual art movement. He was strongly influenced by surrealism, which is reflected in the works he creates through his manipulation and transformation of found photographs. He is acutely aware of the magnitude and ubiquity of mass media images in contemporary culture and it is from these that he appropriates the raw material for his work.
For example, publicity photographs of Hollywood stars of the 1950s are subjected to a process of cutting, splicing and superimposition to create striking, disturbing collages which subvert notions of glamour or personality to create a surreal, alternative narratives - sometimes combining male and female identities. Sections of landscape from old postcards or magazine articles might be incorporated evoking uncanny suggestions of the inner life of the subconscious.
Since his first exhibition in 1970 Stezaker steadily attracted increasing critical acclaim, by 2018 he had been granted more than eighty solo shows throughout the UK, Europe, America and Australasia and has featured in numerous group exhibitions throughout the world. His work is represented in many notable public and private collections. Following his retrospective exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery in London in 2011 he was awarded the Deutsche Börse Prize.
Until recently he was Senior Tutor in Critical and Historical Studies at the Royal College of Art.