Steve Penley attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and the University of Georgia. After school, Penley was put off by much of the controversial, and aloof contemporary art world. He began working odd jobs and painting in his spare time, convinced there was no room for his style and subject matter in the modern art market. Despite his own disillusionment, Penley’s artistic talented was recognized by Robert Steed, an art collector who would go on to become Penley’s benefactor. Steed was well connected in the art world, and appreciation for Penley’s work grew rapidly.
Steve Penley has been commissioned by the Coca-Cola Company, Fox News, and several U.S. Presidents. His artwork hangs in the offices of many members of congress, including a large Ronald Reagan in Ted Cruz’s office and an Abraham Lincoln rendition in the office of Kevin McCarthy. He has received numerous awards and is an accomplished author, as well as frequent TV contributor on shows like Fox & Friends and 48 Hours. A vocal conservation himself, Penley has been called “The Republican Party’s favorite artist.” While he is flattered by the title, Penley considers his own art patriotic and not confined by the values of any one political party. Penley has been vocal about the fact that he paints for art collectors and not art critics; he would much rather be a bestseller than have his work hang in top museums. At the rate of his current success; however, he may not have to choose.