Steve Hanks was born into a military family in San Diego in1949. His father was a highly decorated WWII Navy flyer.Hanks grew up playing tennis and surfing along thebeaches of Southern California. “The ocean made a strongand lasting impression on me. It was good for the soul to beout in the water-surfing, swimming, or simply getting intouch with its mysterious power”. Hanks calls his style‘emotional realism’. He often leaves the faces of his figuresobscured or turned away, not only to leave the face to theimagination of the viewer but also to allow the entire figureto express the emotion. Backlighting is also a signatureelement of his style. “Sunlight has become one of myfavorite subjects. I’m fascinated by how it filters throughthings, how it floods a whole room with color. Often mypaintings are really more about sunlight than anythingelse”.