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From his first art show at age eight to the Olympics with Ali, CNN with Sinatra, Woodstock, The Oscars, a president’s portrait, and his charity work, this includes hiring ex-gang kids and the homeless. Sponsored by a Jewish temple in the Bronx, Kaufman first began creating Holocaust paintings, later donated to the Jewish Holocaust museum in Brooklyn.
During this time Steve also worked for Macy’s painting dog and cat faces on pet rocks.
It was around this time he became a participant in a group graffiti show at the Whitney Museum.
Kaufman then enrolled in the School of Visual Arts. Meets Andy Warhol and becomes his assistant at the Factory. He designs theme parties at Studio 54, Mud Club, Underground, and Magique. Steve sells his Art to Calvin Klein and Steve Rubell. Kaufman meets Keith Haring at a School of Visual Arts (SVA) show. Steve Kaufman participates in group show at club 57 with Haring.
Steve Kaufman creates the graphics for NBC’s Saturday Night Live. Steve graduates from School of Visual Arts (SVA) with a BFA. Holds art shows at the Air Gallery in London, White Freud and Fiorucci store window in NYC.
Steve Kaufman is then arrested with AIDS demonstrators for chain-locking New York City’s mayor in his office. Kaufman exhibits Sex, Rock & Roll at Off Centre Gallery and Common Wealth Gallery in London.
Kaufman then forms SAK Studio. He begins city-wide campaign for AIDS awareness with art shows featuring paintings of Trojan condom wrappers measuring 5 feet by 5 feet. Kaufman’s condom art exhibit is shown at Maine Fine Art, Edinburgh College of Art, Zanzibar Club and the Smith Gallery.
Kaufman then opens his own Art Studio and hires the New York City homeless. He paints portraits of three homeless people for Transportation Display, Inc.; portraits are shown in 46 cities on bus billboards, helping to raise $4.72 million to benefit the homeless.
Steve also painted one of the first Racial Harmony Murals in Harlem to bring awareness to inner city problems. Show at White Gallery, where all art was covered in black cloth in memorial of those who died of AIDS; this show developed the concept for the “Day Without Art” tribute.
In 2004 Kaufman began suffering a series of debilitating strokes, dying of a heart attack in Vail, Colorado, on February 12, 2010, as he prepared for an art show.
“If I stop doing shows, I might as well stop living. This is what I live for…I had a great life, so please don’t cry for me. I’ve had the life of 100 men“, he wrote.