Stephen Bennett is a passionate and dedicated portrait painter. Over the last 20 years he has traveled to over 30 countries seeking out indigenous people to capture their soulful faces and ritual adornments through colorful paintings on a grand scale, many being 7x5 feet. Bennett’s mission is preserve and celebrate the world’s diversity through a unique style of realism using interpretive color—with paints that he has hand-mixed from pure pigments.
The focus of his paintings is on the eyes that invite us to enter and experience our common humanity... for he truly believes that we are all one people. Bennett is driven by a desire to complete an international exhibition of 1000 World Portraits. This enormous project is ambitious, but needed at a time when the world is particularly conflicted.
Bennett travels extensively to remote areas of the world, seeking out and living amongst the most authentic indigenous peoples. Bennett has a great respect for these people, as they have been able to live in complete harmony with nature for thousands of years. He feels that they are the true guardians of our planet earth.
Bennett's World Portraits have been used to promote and preserve native cultures.
Faces of the World has taught Portrait Workshops and/or presented World Portraits Exhibits in the following countries:
Easter Island (Chili)
Papua New Guinea
United Arab Emirates
United States of America
*Expeditions to these countries are slated for the Fall of 2011
In 2007 and 2009, a large selection of Bennett's World Portraits were featured in 2 exhibits at the United Nations, New York. In 2009 and 2010 the United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) used his art exclusively on 2 series of Indigenous People Postage Stamps —18 stamps for each series. This was the first time in the UNPA's history that one artist was featured on all stamps and for 2 consecutive years. The UNPA has now requested to produce a third series to be issued in 2012 that will include faces of Japan and China. An expedition to these 2 great countries will take place in the Fall of 2011.