Stephen Verona

Artist Stephen Verona

Stephen Verona is that rare artist who has seen the world and has produced amazing art to reflect his observations in brilliant paintings of light and color. Rich with character and emotionally communicative, his work is as moving and inspirational, paying tribute to his remarkable vision and talent.

Stephen Verona started painting at the age of 2 when he first discovered that he could express himself by smearing shoe polish on the walls of his childhood home. His talent has been evident from the start, and commercial recognition came his way as early as art school, when Edward Steichen first selected his photograph for display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Following graduation, he went on to become co-creative director of Ogilvy & Mather, where he closely worked with legendary David Ogilvy.

Having met John Lennon on location in England while directing a TV commercial for Ford, he created the first of what was quickly dubbed the “Music Video,” the first of many for artists like Beatles, Barbra Streisand, Chicago, Simon & Garfunkle, Johnny Cash, Mick Fleetwood, Natalie Cole, Boy George, Santana and countless others.

As an enthusiast of film, he had soon become a famed acting teacher, actor and Lee Strasberg’s protégé at the Actor’s Studio director’s unit. By the time he was 27, he was nominated for an Academy Award for his live action short film “The Rehearsal” which he created, produced & directed. Not satisfied with commercials or videos, Stephen Verona moved on to write, produce and co-direct his first feature film, “The Lords of Flatbush,” launching the careers of Sylvester Stallone, Henry Winkler, and Richard Gere. Stephen also gave Gladys Knight her first acting role in “Pipe Dreams” which led to 2 Golden Globe Nominations. All during his film making days, he always photographed and painted.

Stephen Verona’s paintings and photographs have been included in various important collections at museums around the world, and he has won over 100 awards for his work. In 2008, the Getty Museum acquired his photography for their permanent collection. In 2009 Stephen Verona was invited to join an exclusive group of artists from around the world for an audience with His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI at the Sistine Chapel. This was the first time a Pope has hosted artists in the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel since the Renaissance; the invitation was a significant validation of his work. Stephen was also the first ever American to be invited to photographically document China’s developing society, bringing the west an unprecedented insight into the culture of the east that has previously been so veiled.