Although Ed Salazar displayed a natural talent for drawing at a very young age, he formally began his art education at the age of 18 in St. Petersburg, Florida at St. Petersburg College. After moving to New York in 1984 he became a successful illustrator of Biblical and historical subjects producing some 300 paintings in over 20 years. His illustrations have appeared in many books, calendars, and journals, some of which enjoy an international circulation in several languages.
In the meantime Salazar developed his skills as a portrait artist painting in the classical tradition. He studied with renowned living artists such as Nelson Shanks at the New York Academy of Art and with Everett Raymond Kinstler and Max Ginsburg at the Art Students League of New York.
He is a member of the Connecticut Society of Portrait Artists, has served on the Leadership Team of the New York Society of Portrait Artists (affiliated with the American Society of Portrait Artists) and as a member of the American Society of Classical Realism. Salazar also regularly lectures on different periods of art history at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Among his portrait subjects are celebrities such as actress and singer Vanessa Williams, NBA star Rick Fox, NASCAR great Mark Martin, and jazz legends Gato Barbieri and Lionel Hampton. His portraits have been exhibited in prestigious galleries such as New York’s Salmagundi Club and hang in public and private collections in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.
Salazar presently resides in Greenwich, Connecticut where he also enjoys painting equestrian portraits, still life, and landscapes. He believes that regardless of the subject one paints, the key elements of successful painting consist in good composition, correct drawing, accurate values, naturalistic color, variety of edges and textures, as well as dexterity in brushwork. As a result of consistently meeting this criteria, his painting style has been described as “very natural,” “lifelike,” “dignified,” “powerful,” and “classic.”