Steven Assael (born 1957) is an American painter recognized nationally as one of the leading representational figurative artists of his generation. His portrayal of the human image is empathic, ennobling, and psychologically penetrating. Assael's figure compositions synthesize the characteristics of the past masters with a selective eye for the present, suffusing elements of naturalism and romanticism to blend contemporary techniques with those of the past.
Assael's paintings have been called Post-Post Modern. He works strictly with live models. Arlene Raven describes him as wanting "the greater possibilities of duration. More variety, and a broader range of values and colors, a chronicle of the transformations of changing light, spent over real minutes and hours with his model." In speaking of his work and how it contributes to contemporary art, Assael stated that "Even though art is dead as we have known it, painting is not."
Born and raised in New York, Assael showed an enthusiasm for art at a young age, taking art classes at the Museum of Modern Art at the age of four. He attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and currently teaches at the School of Visual Arts in New York and The New York Academy of Art.
Assael is represented by Forum Gallery and currently resides in New York City.