Steve Bendykowski began drawing as soon as he could hold a pencil and has pursued his passion for art and artmaking all of his life. He has taught college and exhibited his works in many galleries. Steve is now a full-time artist who has made a deliberate choice to live and paint in obscurity. Without pressure to sell or exhibit, he is free to paint according to his own vision and convictions; you can find his works at bendykowski.art. In his own words: "It is such a blessing to be able to use the gifts my creator gave me and become the artist I always wanted to be." ~ Rob Hill.
I create art that is a record of how I see the society I live in and the spiritual battle that swirls around us. To help you understand what I was thinking I have included titles and descriptions for each artwork, but ultimately it is up to you to determine the meaning it holds for you.
My art is a bit of a paradox because it is an allegory and a documentary at the same time. By allegory I mean it is more than what it is on the surface and expresses a deeper spiritual and moral meaning. But at the same time I am very careful to document by drawing or painting the actual scene that I photographed.
Question: Do you still teach college classes or at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha, Nebraska (USA)?
Answer: I no longer teach college or at the Bemis, but I teach workshops near South Padre Island in Texas every winter.
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.
Question: Why is your artwork so dark and depressing?
Answer: My artwork is a response to how I view the evil and folly of much of the society I live in. How else do you depict those in our society that call good evil and evil good? But I am an optimist and look forward to the future and what God is doing in this world. Also see the last question below “Do you have an artistic statement?”.
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: 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.
Question: Are you a christian?
Answer: Answer: Yes, and 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.
Question: Do you have an artistic statement?
Answer: The lyrics to Bob Dylan’s song “Slow Train Coming” come as close as anything… “Man’s ego is inflated… in the home of the brave, Jefferson turning over in his grave. Fools glorifying themselves... Big-time negotiators, false healers and woman haters. Masters of the bluff and masters of the proposition. But the enemy I see wears a cloak of decency. All non-believers and men stealers talking in the name of religion. And there's a slow, there's a slow train coming up around the bend”.