Steve DiBenedetto was born in the Bronx in 1958. He attended Parsons School of Design from 1976 to 1980 and was selected for the Yale Norfolk Summer School of Music and Art as a third-year student in 1979. This was an important moment not only regarding developments in painting but also the significance of exposure to avant-garde musical works and composers that have made an impact on him. Music is a crucial component to DiBenedetto in terms of both playing and listening to and sometimes writing about.
He was included in his first group show organized by a close friend from Parsons, Steven Parrino in 1984 at the legendary International With Monument gallery in the East village in NYC. He was then connected (via Parrino as well) with the equally legendary Cable Gallery run by the great Clarissa Dalryimple and Nicole Klagsburn. Important shows took place there from 1987 to 1990 upon the closure of the gallery. Through Cable gallery opportunities to show work in Europe were realized. Paintings at this time were abstract, somewhat geometric, vibrantly colored, optically charged works done in fluorescent acrylic and spray paint derived from notions regarding the buzzy presence of technology in society.
Subsequent solo shows were with Tony Shafrazi, Manfred Baumgartner, Derek Eller, and David Nolan in New York, as well as with Dan Weinberg in Los Angeles.
Steve DiBenedetto spent 3 months of summer 1999 in a residency at Monet's Giverny garden, and then worked on numerous small scale paintings which were shown in New York at Baumgartner in 2000. Paintings had transitioned into more improvised process based imagery done in oil on linen by then.
Later, he was one of eight artists chosen to have a room in an ambitious show "Remote Viewing" at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2005, which included Carroll Dunham, Terry Winters, Julie Mehretu and others. His work was purchased by the Whitney at this time.
Around 2002, drawing became a more significant studio practice for him, which continues today. His drawings were shown in a solo show at Derek Eller Gallery in 2003, in a four person show at Miguel Abreu and Tim Nye's gallery, Vestry Arts in 2004, as well as at David Nolan Gallery. Drawings (and prints) were purchased by the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Morgan Library & Museum around this time. Drawings are typically done in colored pencil and some with charcoal pencil, and although imagery is shared, they are considered as works in their own right as opposed to preliminary sketches for paintings.
New drawings made in Rome at the American Academy there from September to November 2018 were included in a show at Galerie Eva Presenhuber New York in Jan 2019 as well as in a solo show in March 2019 at the Academy Conti, Burgundy, France. Other recent shows have been mounted at Half Gallery and The National Exemplar gallery in New York.
Music is a crucial component in the works of DiBenedetto in terms of both playing and listening to and sometimes writing about, and an ambient sound piece was included in a small survey show the artist had at the Aldrich Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut in 2015.
Awards include Tiffany Foundation Award in 2002, Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003, and Awards from The American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2003 and 2015, and he has also taught graduate and undergraduate classes at the School of Visual Arts, Mason Gross at Rutgers, Cooper Union, Cornell University, and Columbia University.