Sebastian Alterera was born in New York City in 1964. Although his family was financially challenged, Altereraâ€™s mother supplemented their income selling her amateur sculpture throughout Greenwich Village. Her dedication to her artwork - despite the expense of materials and the lack of ample free time to pursue her creativity - greatly impressed Alterera at a very young age. He began to accompany her when she would sell her work on sidewalks and to galleries, and soon began to sketch figures himself, well before the age of 10.
At 15, Altereraâ€™s father unexpectedly passed away. The loss greatly impacted Alterera, both emotionally and practically: his mother chose to move the family across the country to San Francisco to be with her parents. From this new sadness and solitude, Alterera quickly retreated into his art, which began to reflect the influence of nature on the human mind. The architecture, mountains and ocean in and around San Francisco became an infinite source of inspiration. When the time came, Alterera was accepted into the BFA program at the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Florida. His talent was recognized immediately, earning him the Best of Ringling Award two years in a row. Upon graduating from Ringling, Alterera entered the MFA program at the prestigious Savannah College of Art and Design. After receiving his MFA there in 1992, he embarked on further studies in Naples, Italy.
Altereraâ€™s painting flourished in Naples, inspired by the culture and heritage of that region. Focusing mostly on figural painting, Alterera introduced several alternative methods of painting into his work - such as drip-painting and thick collage. After spending several years in Italy, Alterera returned to the U.S., and made a home in Atlanta.
Altereraâ€™s work has evolved dramatically over the years. Although he still prefers to work with the human figure, he has moved on from realistic figures to dynamic, figurative abstracts that reflect the natural colors and organic lines inspiring much of his work. These abstract pieces are unique in that they eschew the cold and austere mood that is prevalent in so much abstract work. Altereraâ€™s abstract art, with its deep texture and earth tones, seems to live and breathe emotion almost as much as his figuratives.
Altereraâ€™s art has been pursued by corporate and private collectors all across the United States. He continues to work primarily out of his Jessi.