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Assael, Steven


oil on canvas

2003 Anonymous Gift in Honor of Helen Thalheimer

The way an artist presents a subject in a portrait often indicates how he or she feels about that person. Steven Assael's portraits of people from the tattoo parlors, clubs and theaters of New York City reveal his appreciation of their uniqueness. He presents his subjects in dramatic and sensitive compositions that address their pursuit of a personal identity, their desire for acceptance, and their need to emotionally connect with other people. In the painting "June", soft light illuminates the subject's face. Her clothing and hair are painted with loose brushstrokes that continue into the background. In contrast, controlled brushstrokes capture the realistic detail of the eyes and mouth - the most expressive features of the human face.