Steven Kenny was born in Peekskill, New York in 1962. He attended the Rhode Island School of Design, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1984. His final year of art school was spent studying independently in Rome. This direct exposure to European art (especially the Baroque works of the Italian, Dutch and Flemish schools) had a significant effect on his painting style.
First settling in New York City, he gained notoriety as a freelance commercial illustrator. Clients included Sony Music, Time Magazine, AT&T, United Airlines, Celestial Seasonings, Microsoft and many others. His illustrations repeatedly received awards from the Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts Magazine and the Art Directors’ Club of New York.
In 1997 Steven turned away from illustration in order to devote his full attention to the fine arts. His award-winning paintings are exhibited in galleries across the United States and Europe. Honors include grants from the Virginia and Franz Bader Fund, the Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation, and fellowships from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Creative Pinellas. His paintings can be found in the permanent collections of the State College of Florida, Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, Museo Arte Contemporanea Sicilia, Polk Museum of Art, and many private collections around the world.
From an early age the beauty and mystery of nature have deeply influenced his chosen subject matter: surreal compositions that most often combine the human figure with elements from nature to comment on our interactions with the environment while symbolically alluding to the multi-facetted dynamics of human nature in general. Stylistically, Steven employs Old Master oil painting techniques to create images that are visually reminiscent of the Renaissance and Northern Baroque periods while being firmly rooted in the realm of Contemporary Art.