Study, Male Figure Reclined

Quick oil sketch with a palette knife of a nude male figure reclined.

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Stephen Cefalo

About Stephen Cefalo

I was born in the hometown of Albrecht Durer on the birthday of Winslow Homer, Charles Le Brun, and Franz Von Stuck, so I already had my work cut out for me. My two sisters and I were raised in Newburgh, Indiana by a single mother who worked full-time at a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant. I had trouble in school, but found comfort in drawing. My aunt Marilyn gave me oil painting lessons at twelve, and my mom bought me books on figure drawing and supplies when she found them. 


During my undergraduate studies at the former Savannah Campus of the School of Visual Arts I found mentors in Jeff Markowsky and Anthony Palliser. When SVA Savannah closed its doors in 1997, I was already married with my first child, and moved to the main campus in New York. There I studied with one of my heroes, Steven Assael, and Max Ginsburg. After graduation I continued to study privately with Assael while working in Soho as an assistant painter for Jeff Koons and later in Time Square as an in-house illustrator at Nickelodeon. We left New York shortly after the September 11th attacks and decided to move back to Indiana. I completed my graduate studies in Painting in 2004 at Indiana University in Bloomington. There I worked closely Bonnie Sklarski, who also became a mentor figure to me. 


After teaching for two years at the Art academy of Cincinnati, I accepted an offer for a three-year position as Artist in Residence for University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Painting department. My wife Amy who is a homebirth midwife, our six children, and I have assimilated well here, and we have decided to stay in Arkansas.

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