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Name: Steven Kenny (Artist)

Posted By Kendel Burke

Steven Kenny has been drawing since he was a young child, and found a love for painting while attending the Rhode Island School of Design. Upon completing school, Kenny worked as a freelance illustrator, but began to focus on fine art in 1997. His preferred medium is oil on canvas, which is heavily influenced by the Baroque period, a style of European art that is characterized by clear and elaborate detail. Kenny’s paintings are also surreal; a human figure is blended with differing elements of nature, commenting on how people interact with the natural world. According to Kenny, these pairings of human and nature also symbolize the human psyche, representing emotional conflict and self-exploration.

Years in Tampa Bay


Hustle (job)


What do you do?  

I create surreal oil paintings 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-faceted dynamics of human nature in general. I employ Old Master oil painting techniques to create images that are visually reminiscent of Renaissance and Northern Baroque artists, while being firmly rooted in today’s world of Contemporary Art.

Why do you do it?

From the moment I first picked up a crayon, art has allowed me to express myself, communicate with the world and be heard. Each new painting is an endlessly fascinating exploration into what it means to be human. I can’t imagine another job that’s as challenging, satisfying, and FUN!

What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)

I’ve always been an artist, but a long series of lucky events opened one door after another in order for it to become a career. However, none of it would have happened without the early support of my family and the constant parental drumbeat of “you can be whatever you choose to be.” That also gave me the courage to seize opportunities when they arose.

What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?

The question I’m often asked is “Are my paintings based on dreams?” Absolutely not! Every image I paint is the result of careful consideration.

What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?

Staying true to myself, making art that is honest, and not stopping until each painting is the best that it can be.

What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?

Do it your own way.

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