Steve Smulka was born in Detroit, and studied at the University of Massachussets and the School of Visual Art in New York under acclaimed painter Chuck Close, among others. He is internationally recognized for his stunning realist paintings of oversized bottles, jars, and decanters.

Renowned critic J. Bower Bell said about Smulka’s work: “Each work is lovingly crafted; the treatment of glass profound, mature, the skill, awesome; but it is the light that matters, the light that is somehow transformed by facility of hand and felicity of brush into a compelling icon. This mysterious alchemy of craft, vision and cunning turns paint into light and light into magic.”

The artist about his work:

“One thing that had always interested me most about painting realistically was the light. I painted a variety of figurative work and still-life work, and the glass really worked the best to show off the effects of light. It really makes them glow. (…) I try to be as realistic as possible, and I find it very satisfying to try to draw everything as well as I can, using the light as part of the composition.