* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.
Steve Salo is an Australian contemporary artist, best known for his emotive portraiture
and expressive landscape paintings. Steve showed a natural talent for painting at a young age, getting his first oil paints at the age of eight. Of Ukrainian descent, he received early encouragement from his craftsman grandfather (‘dido’) who lived next door in Herne Hill, Geelong. His dido taught him many things, including the importance of doing your craft with love and full effort and attention. Hours upon hours in the workshop observing the patience and passion that went into his woodwork and boot making left an indelible mark. Respect your tools, look after them, create an environment that inspires your best work.
As a child, in and out of hospital with severe asthma, Steve found solace and self-expression through his drawings. His first studio was at age 16, the family’s outdoor bungalow amid the orchard. These early influences have carried through to the evocative paintings Steve creates today. Studying books about the master painters and experimenting in many mediums and across various subject matter, he is largely self- taught.
In his 20’s and into his 30’s, art didn’t seem to fit with the world around him and Steve painted sporadically. Working in graphic design, picture framing and a host of other jobs, he felt a deepening frustration. A fire in his Torquay studio in early 2013 brought Steve’s art to a cross-road. Losing most of his art history and materials, he realized painting was what he wanted and needed to be doing. He committed to boundless experimentation and to no longer hoarding what he created.
His works are in private collections in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, UAE, Europe, the UK, USA and Canada.
Paintings from Steve’s Finland residency were shown at the Embassy of Finland in Canberra as part of the event program for the Suomi Finland 100 centenary of independence.
In early 2018 Steve also completed his largest-ever painting, a 2m x 3m landscape ‘Fire and Life’ for a private commission.