Nomadic Portrait Painter
Stephen Bennett is an American portrait painter who over the last 20 years has traveled to over 30 countries. He seeks out indigenous people to capture their soulful faces and ritual adornments through colorful paintings on a grand scale, many being 7×5 feet. Bennett’s mission is preserve and celebrate the world’s diversity through a unique style of realism using interpretive color-with paints that he has hand-mixed from pure pigments. The focus of his paintings is on the eyes that invite us to enter and experience our common humanity. For he truly believes we are all one people.
From an early age, Bennett had a strong fascination for the human face. He constantly sketched the faces of his family, friends and even strangers he encountered. With the encouragement of his high school art teacher, Philip Spaziani, Bennett fully realized that his career was evolving towards portraiture. During his college days in upper state New York, he focused on painting classes and studied color theory.
Stephen has keen sense of observation, and an ability to bring out the beauty of a face. He succeeds in his artistic endeavors thanks to his appreciation of human differences, his generosity, and his desire to understand others. He has a special ability to express and bring light to a face by his play with colors. For Stephen, a face is a treasure.
Bennett’s vision is promote tolerance through art education and cultural exchange on a global scale. He is driven by a desire to complete an international exhibition of 1000 World Portraits. This enormous project is ambitious, but needed at a time when the world is particularly conflicted. The focus of his paintings is on the eyes that invite us to enter and experience our common humanity… for he truly believes that we are all one people.
Bennett is founder of Faces of the World, a non-profit corporation with a mission of increasing cultural pride and affirming the importance of indigenous cultures who have been the true guardians of planet earth. Faces of the World is funded from the sale of his paintings, commissions, donations and sponsorship. For more information go to www.facesoftheworld.net
Bennett’s life goal is to paint 1,000 portraits to be exhibited worldwide. Young, old, joyful, and withered faces populate these vibrant canvases, celebrating a variety of ethnic strains.
Michelle Pfeiffer, American, Academy Award Nominated Actor Sharon Stone, Academy Award Nominated Actor
Barbara Hershey, Academy Award Nominated Actor
Iman, International Supermodel
Ruben Blades, Actor
President of the Republic of Panama, Ernesto Perez Balladares and his wife American Ambassador to Panama, William Hughes, Panama
Marie Trintignant, Actress, Paris, France
U.S. Federal Court Judge, Nicholas J. Walinski, Toledo, Ohio
Tom Brokaw, National Television Anchorman, New York
Senator Arlen Spector, U.S. Senator for Pennsylvania
Sandy and Sammy Sandroval, Platinum Award winning singers
George Strait, Hall of Fame, Grammy Winning, Country & Western singer. Drew Brees, Quarterback, 2010 Super Bowl Winner
President Fidel Castro, Havana, Cuba
Republic of Seychelles National Collection
Queen Silvia of Buganda/Uganda
Book, “El Spiritu de Panama” INAC Publications : Panama, 1997 United Nations Stamps 2009 Indigenous Peoples : Part One United Nations Stamps 2010 Indigenous Peoples : Part Two United Nations Stamps 2012 Indigenous Peoples: Part Three American Artist Magazine ”Risk + Reward” September, 2008
1982 Schenectady County Community College, Fine Art
1983 Russell Sage College, Fine Art
1984 State University of New York at New Paltz, Fine Art
Art Apprentice 1985 to 1988
Born in Amsterdam, New York on August 6, 1961. Lives in New York City and Pennsylvania.