Fine Art Gallery
"We may all just be drops of water in the great sea of life, but some of the drops do sparkle. What a joy to work in a business like animation that is literally glittering with exceptional people."
- Toby Bluth
1960-2010 - Bronx, New York.
1968 - Sponsored by a Jewish temple in the Bronx, Steve Kaufman creates Holocaust paintings which were later donated to
the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Brooklyn.
1972 -Works for Macy’s, painting dog and cat faces on pet rocks.
1978-1981- Enrolls in the School of Visual Arts. Meets Andy Warhol.
Designs theme parties at Studio 54, The Mud Club, Underground, and Magique. Sells his art to Calvin Klein and Steve Rubell.
Meets Keith Haring at School of Visual Arts (SVA) show. Participates in group show at Club 57 with Haring.
1982 - Creates graphics for NBC’s "Saturday Night Live." Graduates from School of Visual Arts (SVA) with a BFA.
Holds art shows at the Air Gallery in London, White Freud and Fiorucci store window in NYC.
1983-1985 - Arrested with AIDS demonstrators for chain-locking New York City’s Mayor Ed Koch in his office.
Exhibits Sex, Rock & Roll at the Off-Centre Gallery in London.
1989-1990 - Steve Kaufman opens Art Studio and hires New York City homeless. Paints portraits of three homeless people for
Transportation Display, Inc. Portraits are shown in 46 cities on bus billboards, helping raise $4.72 million to benefit the homeless. Completes unfinished portraits for Andy Warhol clients. Trojan Condoms/Carter Wallace sponsors 5,000 AIDS awareness buttons to be given away in Greenwich Village and at an art auction for The American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR). Paints first Racial Harmony Mural in Harlem to bring awareness to inner city problems. Holds show at The White Gallery, where all art was covered in black cloth in memory of those who died of AIDS. This show developed the concept for the “Day Without Art” tribute. Show held at Loft Gallery in Tokyo, Japan.
1991-1992 - Completes 55 Racial Harmony Murals in the New York City area with Malcolm X images. Appears on Fox TV, MTV and various radio stations to speak out on racial harmony. Accepts award as Underground Artist of the Year. Paints Mickey Mantle’s portrait for Mantle’s Restaurant. Paints Joe Frazier’s portrait to raise money for Police Athletic League. Creates AIDS Memorial in
New York City. Drapes red fabric over the letter “D” on the Hollywood Sign in remembrance of everyone who has died of AIDS.
Art collected by Spike Lee, Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Dee Williams, Eddie Murphy, and Larry Mullen of U2.
1993-1994 - Steve Kaufman moves his Art Studio to Los Angeles, California. He starts a new style called “Comic Book Pop Art,”
and uses original paintings of Superheroes -- Superman, Batman, Spider Man, to name a few -- as the icons.
Hires more than 100 Los Angeles ex-gang kids from prison to assist him in the studio.
1995 - Published works for Martin Lawrence Limited Editions. Hand paints limited editions, giving new meaning to hand-embellishment.
Creates limited editions of Beethoven, which sold out, and Marilyn Monroe, breaking all sales records for a new artist.
Creates portraits of Muhammad Ali and John Travolta, who autographed their editions. First artist to form a bridge between
Marvel Comics (Spider Man) and DC Comics (Superman). Works with Stan Lee, who autographed the editions.
Starts the following programs:• Works with Los Angeles “South Central” parole officers.
• Hires more than 200 kids from prison to work in the studio.
• Receives award from Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan.
• Increases charity work to include 100 different charities.
1996 - Steve Kaufman contacts the Sinatra Family about painting Frank Sinatra’s portrait. Campbell’s asks Steve to paint a limited edition to mark Campbell’s Soup’s 100th Anniversary. Paints Muhammad Ali’s face on 500 boxing gloves, demonstrating that art
doesn't have to be on canvas. By now, 325 kids have worked for the Art Studio and 85 percent have gone on to a better way of life.
Paints two Harley-Davidson motorcycles: one a Campbell’s Soup theme and the other a Cohiba Cigar theme.
Later, the gas tank of the latter was hand-signed by Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Creates Ali portrait for the 1996 Olympics.
Ali signs the edition for the first time with both his Muslim name, Muhammad Ali, and his birth name, Cassius Clay.
1997-1998 - Tina Sinatra features Kaufman’s portraits of Frank Sinatra on Larry King’s CNN show. Holds art shows in Japan and Amsterdam. Has boxing exhibition versus Don Diego, a European boxing champion. After some minor controversy, Kaufman is awarded a win. Paints a Harley-Davidson motorcycle for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team. The bike is driven around Dodger Stadium before each game and televised to millions of homes. By now, Steve Kaufman has hired 546 ex-gang kids and homeless, and supported more than 175 charities.
1999-2000 - Steve Kaufman suffers a cardiac episode and a motorcycle accident. Quoted afterwards:
“I’m truly blessed to be doing what I’ve always wanted — TO CREATE. I have found a freedom that is hard to put into words.
I always wondered about my projects -- which artists are working on what and which directions should I take?
I don’t even think of those things now. I passionately go into my studio and ask myself, 'What would I like to create today?'”
Releases Sinatra’s Rat Pack and Mug Shot, Al Pacino as The Godfather and Scarface, New York City’s radio "shock jock" icon Howard Stern, Barbie, and two new Marilyn Monroe editions. Releases Van Gogh and Picasso in a new style, 100 percent
hand-painted edition, which gives new meaning to the hand-embellishment process.
Kaufman, Steve Art For Sale: