About Bendykowski and His Art

"What stands out is your fierce independence and not falling into the expectation of the norm. Your art is yours and while you’ve been exposed to many artists and genres and styles, your art is uniquely yours… I could pick it out in a 1000 paintings." ~ Frank Fazakas

About Steve

Photo of Steve Bendykowski

The disappointed look on the faces of my college art students still haunt me after 30 years. I had just told them I was going to take a full-time job as an Apple Systems Engineer and would not continue teaching. They were genuinely concerned that the job would consume me and I would no longer pursue my life long passion of painting. I foolishly thought I would be able to do both, but I was wrong.


I am now a full-time artist and I take my role as a contemporary artist very seriously. Wishing to avoid the influence of current fads and trends I have even made a deliberate choice to live and paint far from major art centers. Without pressure to sell or exhibit, I am free to paint according to my own vision and convictions.

About the Art

Locked out

In the tradition of Hieronymus Bosch, Bendykowski’s meticulously crafted paintings and drawings have been called “a painted satire on the sins and ravings of mankind”. His style has often been linked to the Magic Realism and New Objectivity movements. Often using paranormal, abandoned and decaying subject matter set against a stormy sky, his work is a spiritual allegory where everyone will see something different.


* Allegory: visual representation which can be interpreted to represent a hidden meaning with moral or political significance.


Question: Are you still a college professor or teach at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha, Nebraska (USA)?
Answer: I no longer teach college or at the Bemis. However I do love teaching and hold workshops near South Padre Island in Texas every winter. I will also work with groups when it makes sense for both of us.


Question: Don’t I know you as “Steve Bendy”?

Answer: Bendy is the shortened version of my birth name, Bendykowski. So If you are looking for the guy that was an Apple Systems Engineer or a college teacher that would be me. Decades ago I was also involved in a couple of business ventures (Hotentot Heating & Air Conditioning, WC Frank of Arizona, and commercial real estate leasing) so you may also know me from there. Shoot me an e-mail, I would love to hear from you.


Question: Where are you located?
Answer: My "home" studio is in central Iowa, but I am somewhat of a nomad traveling in my RV. I am often somewhere in the rocky mountains or near Padre Island, Texas in the winter.


Question: Why is your artwork so dark and depressing?

Answer: My artwork is a depiction of the evil and folly of the society I live in. How else do you depict a society that calls good evil and evil good? It is a warning to those who reject the salvation of the absolute truth of a holy creator. Hopefully it will get you to think about eternity and the judgement that awaits evil.


Question: Who are your favorite artists?
Answer: My favorite artists are Hieronymus Bosch, Caspar David Friedrich, and Edvard Munch. I like the mood of many Edward Hopper's paintings and the technique of John Singer Sargent.

Bosch, Friedrich, and Munch examples

Question: Are you a christian?
Answer: Yes, and by that I don't mean religion, but that I base my salvation on faith in Jesus. It was quite a shock to those that knew me when they saw the change in my life. If you are interested in reading an interesting story about my conversion read about it on my blog.