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 7x5 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.
Stephen shares,'I am a portrait painter because of my passion for the world's people. My portraits convey a fusion of my feelings for each subject with an intuitive use of color. I intensify them in celebration of that person's existence. I hope my portraits reveal that every person of every race and culture is interconnected, indispensable and radiant with astonishing beauty.'
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.
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 acceptance through art education and cultural exchange on a global scale. He is driven by a desire to complete an international exhibition of 1,000 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 towww.facesoftheworld.net