"I hope that my portrait paintings will inspire and empower and be put to good use in the preservation of cultural diversity in the world."


Stephen Bennett's Passion for Art and Compassion for People
By Marisa Darnel

Stephen Bennett is an artist who paints beautiful and evocative portraits of famous actors and celebrities such as Sharon Stone, Michelle Pfeiffer and Tom Brokaw, but his art also has a social message.

The United Nations in New York recently exhibited 12 of Bennett's indigenous portraits and in mid-2008 there will be a larger exhibit of his paintings displayed there. Many of Bennett's large-scaled portraits (7' x 5') will be exhibited from November 15 to December 15 at the James Gray Gallery located within Bergamot Station in Santa Monica. Artist Reception is on November 15 from 6 pm to 9 pm.

When he was a teenager, Bennett's passion for people drove him to sketch in the streets and on the subways. He traveled to Mexico in 1991, where he completed 30 portraits in watercolor and 40 in acrylic, realizing in his soul that he wanted to become a portrait painter. Now his paintings are collections which include Michelle Pfeiffer and Fidel Castro. Exhibited in cities in America, his work has been exhibited in galleries and museums in Panama, Brunei, Mexico, Tahiti, Sarawak, Malaysia, France, and elsewhere in the world.

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