About Steve O'Neil
Steven Rex O’Neil (b.1960 Clinton, NY) is an interdisciplinary visual artist and architect. He started his career in his high school art program painting with acrylics and graphite; and sculpting in metal, clay, resin and porcelain.
He studied fine arts for two of his college years and then completed a five year architecture program from Syracuse University in 1986. O’Neil has a Bachelor of Architecture degree and became a licensed Architect in 1994. He co-founded the award winning O’Neil Langan Architects in 1995. During his 30 year career he has worked all over the globe.
Much of his architecture is influenced by his understanding of sculpture and the mix of simple forms with complex texture. O’Neil has a love of photography and began cataloguing what intrigues him in 2005.
After a hiatus from fine arts, O’Neil began painting again in 2016. His work considers the textures, light and natural order he sees on his many walks throughout Manhattan and now near his country home in the Connecticut woods. His camera and his King Charles Cavalier Rex are often his companions on his walks or drives. Together they explore the grain of their surroundings. Sometimes an ice formation sitting atop a river pier, or the lichen and bark of a tree are examined and cataloged for exploration in his studio.
In his early days O’Neil mixed his graphite shavings from his drafting pencil into his paint; these days it might be tree bark, metal dust, grass, twigs, human hair and plant material. His technique starts with layering paint as a sculpture media on canvas forming a coarse and fine juxtaposition within each composition.
O’Neil is always curious to explore working with new color and natural fragments. Experimenting with interjecting the unexpected into his technique or composition keeps O’Neil wandering from his walks into his studio.