Steve Penley, American (1964 - )

Steve Penley

The values and attitudes of every generation are reflected in its art. This generation is definitely no exception. There is a battle being waged between world views which are diametrically opposed to one another. This polarization is visible in politics, entertainment and culture. In today’s post-modern world, God has been removed and secularism seeks to fill the void. Once God is out of the equation, all objective truths are out with him. Any standard of beauty or aesthetic value is gone.

Once objective standards are lost there is no longer any definition of what constitutes art. Historically art ennobles and seeks to reflect a greater good, but today’s art reveals something much darker. The post-modern world is seeking to discredit and destroy any truths which it thinks inconvenient. A small minority of intellectual elitist are attempting to force a sometimes unwilling public to accept it’s hopeless and demented world view as the norm. Many today who want to be accepted by this clique only consider artwork which is cynical and negative to be important. I have chosen uncomplicated subjects such as historical icons because they are something we all have in common. Each of these subjects has meanings which are imprinted in the back of our minds. By manipulating these images, I hope to bring the viewer into a new way of seeing familiar subjects. In today’s world we have a tendency towards deconstruction.

Today’s heroes seem small and insignificant compared with those of the past. There is no question that many icons of our culture are less than perfect. But there are plenty of other outlets in art and culture to expose their real or imagined weaknesses. I would rather search for the ideal in these subjects and if possible give them a new dignity. These paintings are not documentaries of their respective subjects per se, but simply representations of the common bonds we all share with them. These formal and sometimes stoic images are a great contrast with bright colors and expressionistic brush strokes. And, hopefully this will give familiar subjects new life.

Biography
1964 Born in Chattanooga, TN
1983-85/86-88 University of Georgia, Athens, GA
1985/86 School of Visual Art, New York, NY


Exhibitions
2011 Coca-Cola Pop Art Gallery, The History of Coke, Atlanta, Georgia
2011 Dana Gallery, Icons of the West, Missoula, Montana
2010 Georgia Music Hall of Fame, Cradle of American Music, Macon, Georgia2009 Matre Gallery, Cowboys, Atlanta, Georgia
2009 New York Mercantile Exchange, Recent Works, New York, New York
2009 Federal Reserve Board, Fine Arts Program, Forty-four Presidents, Washington D.C.
2008 The World of Coke, Pop Art Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia
2008 Matre Gallery, The Red Show, Group Show, Atlanta, Georgia
2007 Fine Art & Artists, Reinventing the American Icon, Washington, D.C.
2007 Matre Gallery, 12th Anniversary Group Show, Atlanta, Georgia
2007 Matre Gallery, Fresh Air, Group Show, Atlanta, Georgia
2006 Albany Museum of Art, Faces, Steve Penley and Comer Jennings, Albany, Georgia
2005 Matre Gallery, Recent Work/Book Release Party, Atlanta, Georgia
2005 New York Mercantile Exchange, Recent Works, New York, New York
2004 Anthem Gallery, “Landscapes”, New York, New York
2004 Matre Gallery, “Recent Works”, Atlanta, Georgia
2004 Booth Western Art Museum, Cartersville, Georgia
2003 Anthem Gallery, “The City”, New York, New York
2003 Matre Gallery, “Works on Paper”, Atlanta, Georgia
2003 Fine Art & Artists, “Warhol & His Influence”, Washington, DC, Group Show
2003 Anthem Gallery, “Southern Fried”, New York, New York, Group Show
2003 Matre Gallery, “Frontiers”, Atlanta, Georgia
2002 Matre Gallery, “New York City”, Atlanta, Georgia
2002 Fine Art & Artist, “Hot New Painters”, Washington, DC, Group Show
2002 Meridian International Center, “True Colors: Meditation on the American Spirit, Washington, DC
2002 Matre Gallery, “Giants”, Atlanta, GA
2001 Matre Gallery, “Americans”, Atlanta, GA
2001 Matre Gallery, “The Photography Show”, Atlanta, GA, Group Show
2001 Matre Gallery, “May Flowers”, Atlanta, GA, Group Show
2000 Matre Gallery, “New Paintings”, Atlanta, GA
2000 Matre Gallery, “Postures Concerning the Nude”, Atlanta, GA, Group Show
1999 Matre Gallery, “Recent Paintings”, Atlanta, GA
1999 Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Juried Exhibition, St. Phillips Cathedral, Atlanta, GA
1999 Georgia Music Hall of Fame Museum, Macon, Georgia
1998 Matre Gallery, “Flower Paintings”, Atlanta, GA, Group Show
1998 Spotlight on Southern Artists, Juried Exhibition, Trinity School Benefit, Atlanta, GA
1998 Art Care, Juried Exhibition, Aid Atlanta Benefit, Atlanta, GA
1997 Matre Gallery, “Postures”, Atlanta, GA, Group Show
1997 Smith Gallery, “New Work”, Atlanta, GA
1996 Smith Gallery, “Images of Influence”, Atlanta, GA
1996 Southern Arts Federation, “Benny Andrews, Howard Finster & Steve Penley”, Governor’s Mansion, Atlanta, GA
1995 Smith Gallery, “Recent Work”, Atlanta, GA

Literature
2011 Danielle Fowler, “Portraits of American Icons” Libertas September 2011
2011 Brian Bolduc, “Steve Penley, Patriot” National Review Online, February 2011
2010 Glenn Beck, “American Art that Inspires” Fox News Insider, July 2010
2009 Lauren Sherman, “The Fed’s Art Gallery, The 44 Presidential Portraits” Forbes, January 20092008 Rachel Bianco Tribble, “Something to Believe In” Southern Distinction, September 2008
2008 Emily L. Foley, “Penley’s Way” Tuxedo Road, Winter 2008
2007 Emily L. Foley, “The Power of Penley” Jezebel Magazine, December 2007
2006 Jamie Caraway, “Changing Faces of Steve Penley” Address Macon, April 2006
2006 Stephanie Davis, “Steve Penley, Lives a Color-Full Life” Skirt Magazine, May 2006
2005 Elizabeth Baggatt, “The Art of Carrollton’s Steve Penley” Lifestyles Magazine, July
2005 Joe Kovac, Jr., “Former Maconite makes a splash with portraits of the famous” The Macon Telegraph, July 2005
2004 Andrew Wardlow, “Tom Nielsen & Steve Penley” Times-Georgian, May 2004
2004 Katie Hofstadter, “Politics & Art” Artlanta Magazine, May/June 2004
2004 Liz Hampton, “Artist Adds Golden Isles Touch to G8 Summit” Times-Union, June 2004 Mildred Huie Wilcox, “Life, Liberty & Art” Coastal Antiques & Art, July 2004
2004 Seth Hopkins, “Atlanta Artist Steve Penley Inspired by History” Booth Western Art Publications, February 2004
2003 Penley, Longstreet Press, December 2001
1999 Brett Lockwood, “Painting Penley” Bluemilk Magazine, 1999
1997 Susanne Fletcher, “Portrait of a Not-so Starving Artist” Art & Collecting, 1997
Awards/Honors
2007 Capital Arts Standards Committee, Appointed by Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue
2006 The Patrick Henry Award, National Guard Association of the United States
2005 Georgia Council for the Arts, Appointed by Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue
2004 The Flourish Award, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia
2002 Geogia Author of the Year – Specialty Category, PENLEY
2005 Official Painting and Commemorative Print, The 2004 G8 Summit, Selected by G8 Host Committee, Atlanta, Georgia
2002 Georgia Author of the Year: Specialty Category, The Georgia Author’s Association

Corporate Collections
Ashe Rafuse & Hill, Atlanta, Georgia
Federal Reserve Board, Washington, D.C.
Coca-Cola Company, New York, Atlanta, Shanghai
The World of Coca-Cola, Atlanta, Georgia
Chick Fil-A Headquarters, Atlanta, Georgia
King & Spalding, Atlanta, New York, London, Washington D.C.
Georgia State Capitol, Atlanta, Georgia
Luntz Global
Media Research Council, Washington, D.C.
The Booth Museum, Cartersville, Georgia
Tellus Museum, Cartersville, Georgia
Breitbart.com, Los Angeles, California
AirTran/Southwest Airlines, Southwest Headquarters, Dallas, Texas
Kaiser Permanente, Corporate Headquarters, Atlanta, Georgia
Five Guys, Corporate Headquarters, Lorton, Virginia
Houston’s Corporation, Texas
ESPN Zone, Atlanta, Georgia
Georgia Music Hall of Fame, Macon, Georgia
The 2004 G8 Summit Host Committee, Sea Island, Georgia
The Georgia Museum, Athens, Georgia
Kilpatrick Stockton, Atlanta, Georgia
Capricorn Records, Macon, Georgia
Georgia State University, Statesboro, Georgia
Mercer University, Macon, Georgia
Morgan Keegan, Memphis, New York
Twelve Hotel, Atlantic Station and Centennial Park, Atlanta, Georgia
Barry Real Estate Corporation, Atlanta, Georgia
Sea Island Company, Sea Island, Georgia
Private Collections
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich
Andrew Brietbart
Frank Luntz
Sean Hannity
Lawrence and Kathy Ashe
Governor Mitt Romney
Governor Sonny Perdue
Governor Haley Barber
Estate of Former Attorney General Griffin Bell
Former White House Chief of Staff Hamilton Jordan
Former White House Chief of Staff Jack Watson
U.S. Senator Zell Miller
U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson
Pete Correll
Neil Cavuto
Robert Mondavi Estate
Vince Dooley
Tommy Tuberville
Robert L. Steed
McGraw and Mrs. Faith Hill
Ron Gant
Neal Boortz
Ferrol Sams
Kevin Rathbun

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