Alexey Steele, born in Kiev, Ukraine in 1967, began his art training at an early age in the studio of his father, the renowned Russian painter, Leonid Steele. He furthered his professional education at the prestigious Surikov Art Institute of the Soviet Academy of Arts in Moscow under internationally acclaimed artist Illia Glazunov. He moved to Los Angeles in 1990.
Known for his large-scale figurative works, Steele’s approach to figure is rooted in the Renaissance and Baroque periods. At the same time, his works possess a modern feel and intensity in their peculiar audacity of grand scale and grand themes.
Solving various problems in the development of his mammoth works, Steele employs largely forgotten Renaissance period processes. He is known for creating full size drawings, referred to as “cartoons,” which attract attention in their own right.
Two of his unique and major mural commissions of large-scale original multi-figure compositions include The Circle, a 372-inch diameter, and the 272-inch diameter allegorical work, The Soul of the Hero.
Steele’s 2002 “Angel of Unity”, a larger-than-life statue was installed at the Comerica Bank Towers in downtown Los Angeles as part of A Community of Angeles Art Project in Los Angeles. Representing artist’s personal contemplation of the tragedy of 9/11 It was placed at the highly visible juncture of Downtown LA’s two major freeways 110 and 5 and was seen by estimated 30000 motorists a day for over two years.
Alexey Steele was commissioned by the City of Oxnard a master drawing “Quiet Steps of Approaching Thunder” for the permanent collection of the Carnegie Art Museum in Oxnard, California.
Alexey Steele was commissioned by CSU Dominguez Hills a painting entitled “Learners of Dominguez: Howard, Jenika, Auburn, Chris, Ronald” to officially commemorate the 50th anniversary of this statistically one of the most diverse campuses in the nation. The work was a continuation of Alexey’s “My Neighbor Series” and was hailed by the media as “Capturing the Soul of a Diverse Campus.”
Alexey Steele’s Master Work “The Dawn,” a nearly seven-by-sixteen foot multi-figure oil painting that symbolizes the vastly transformative nature of our times, was chosen as Special Public Presentation of LA Art Show 2013.
At the tri-ennial “On Location In Malibu” exhibition at Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine University Alexey Steele’s work had a distinction of being featured on the main banner of the museum twice.
Alexey Steele has coined the new art term NOVOREALISM that describes the newly emerging contemporary art movement and with his close artistic friends is leading in establishing its theory and practice. Alexey is arguing the existence of a distinct, important and revolutionary movement in today’s Art, of its inseparable part within new, aesthetically diverse Contemporary Art which reflects greatly democratized modern cultural terrain. It is the first comprehensive description of a major cultural and aesthetic shift after post-modernism.
Alexey Steele and his work was subject of numerous Art and Mass Media publications including “Fine Art Connoisseur”, “American Artist” featuring on its two covers, “American Arts Quarterly”, “Southwest Art”, “Gramophone” in London and an in-depth profile on the front page of Arts and Books Section by The Los Angeles Times.
He has participated in numerous exhibitions including two at the Fleicher Museum of Art in Scottsdale, Arizona, in exhibitions at the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art; Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine University in Malibu; Pasadena Museum of California Art, The Autry National Center Museum, Phippen Museum in Prescott, Arizona; University of Arkansas Fine Arts Center in Fayetteville; at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angeles in Los Angeles and recently in Cape Cod Museum of Art; he had his one man show “Outside Constraints” in Carnegie Art Museum in Oxnard, California.
Alexey Steele is a 2009 winner of the prestigious Artemis Award in Athens, Greece “for celebrating the power and beauty of women through his art on a heroic scale in the modern world particularly in his multi-figure compositions “The Circle” and “The Soul of The Hero”
In November 2009, Alexey Steele received Gusi Peace Prize in the Philippines for his work on turning art into a tool of International Conflict Resolution and for his “Fire of Peace” composition. “In the works since 2001, “Fire of Peace” serves as the modern day icon for new inter-cultural paradigm of inclusive unity and mutual respect, reflecting broader pluralistic culture while remaining viable to traditional community… presenting an inspiring vision of lasting acceptance and embrace among most vital to World Peace Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities.”
Alexey Steele contributed to a book “Soviet Impressionism” by Dr. Vern Grosvenor Swanson
Alexey Steele featured in “California Light. A Century of Landscapes” published by Rizzoli .
“Steele paints tender, even erotically charged, depictions of male and female lovers, and hugely scaled canvases of fantastical scenes that evoke a new mythology. His cartoons, rendered in colored Conte crayon, evoke the refinement and expertise of a Raphael or Leonardo or Pontormo, but on a Herculian Scale.” David Masello in American Arts Quarterly summer 2012, critic, contributes regularly to The New York Times and Fine Art Connoisseur, among other publications
“Rarely in the world of art does one encounter such a superb and completely unique artist…” Jean Stern, The Irvine Museum, Executive Director
“Alexey Steele’s own artistic vision is heroic. Ignoring the lure of contemporary conformity, he pursues complex, figurative compositions… Steele has created a new and magnificent classical vernacular for our times”. Suzanne Bellah, Director, Carnegie Art Museum
“He is a “Bolshoi” talent, soul and personality, and an artist with a cause and the passion to back it up. He pours the old wine of classical art into new bottles of the 21st century. His “Grand Manner” style dwarfs the efforts of many of his contemporaries. “ Dr. Vern G. Swanson, Director, Springville Museum of Art
“Both in the process by which it was created and the diverse students it portrays, ‘Learners’ captures the essence of Cal State Dominguez Hills and its goal to wield the power of diversity, lifelong learning, and collaboration for a more promising future. I was honored to play a small part in Alexey’s process, and proud the students depicted in ‘Learners’ reflect an even brighter future for Cal State Dominguez Hills and its surrounding communities.” Dr. Mildred García, the institution’s former president and current chief executive of Cal State Fullerton.