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 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 dropped illustration in order to devote his full attention to the fine arts. Since that time he has lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and his home state of New York before settling in St Petersburg, Florida. His award-winning paintings are exhibited in prestigeous galleries across Europe and the United States.
His paintings are deeply influenced by his childhood explorations of the woods in upstate New York, the mysticism of the Catholic religion, and his study of the great masterpieces of Rome. It can be said that Nature, mysticism and craftsmanship are the main components of his work
As he has written:
All my paintings are self-referential. They all are a reflection of some experience of mine or some facet of myself.
My paintings most often focus on the human figure paired with elements found in nature. These surreal, symbolic juxtapositions are intended to work on at least two levels.
The first alludes to the fact that we are an integral part of the natural world and subject to its laws. This seems like an obvious statement until we step back and objectively assess our symbiotic relationship with each other and the Earth. Depending on your perspective, these relationships fall somewhere on the scale between harmonious and dysfunctional.
The second turns the lens around to look inward upon the stewardship of our own emotional, intellectual and psychological landscapes. The same pictorial subject matter allows me to make references to our individual journeys of self-exploration and discovery. Again, depending on who is holding the compass, we are either lost or on the right path.
At the very least, I desire to create images of beauty and mystery that allow viewers to find their own personal significance in them.