Stephen Fox was born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1957. By the fourth grade he knew he would be an artist of some kind—his earliest serious work was drawing and inking his own comic books.
His interest in art and oil painting blossomed in college (V.C.U., Richmond, VA), where he studied painting and printmaking, receiving his BFA in 1980. His very first night paintings, a subject that has remained the focus of his work to this day, were made in the final two semesters of college.
Almost immediately upon graduation,his paintings were featured in Virginia Museum of Fine Arts juried exhibitions, winning critical acclaim and interest from galleries. He received a Virginia Commission for the Arts Professional Artist Fellowship in 1982, the following year he had his first solo exhibition at Cudahy’s Gallery in Richmond, Virginia. The show was a sell-out in just two days.
“ I’ve had a fascination for light within the nighttime landscape for almost as long as I can remember—when I was seven years old, I’d play an outdoor game with friends, where at dusk we had to dodge the headlight beams of cars coming into the neighborhood, diving behind trees or into ditches when the light was about to find us. I didn’t have past events like this on my mind when I began to paint nighttime subjects in the early 1980’s, but the attraction was definitely there, a kind of calling. How strange now, that I sometimes find myself collecting images out in a darkened landscape, where the headlights or tail lights of a passing car are the magic ingredient that enlivens a scene for a few moments, turning it into something I wish to paint ”. – Stephen Fox