Ed Salazar 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.
Salazar also developed his skills as a portrait artist painting in the classical tradition. He has taken painting workshops 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 has also absorbed the lessons from painting demonstrations by John Howard Sanden, Richard Schmid, Daniel Greene, Carl Samson as well as from studying and making copies of his favorite masters from the past, namely, John Singer Sargent, Jules Bastien-Lepage, and Diego Velazquez.
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 (both 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 Brewster, New York 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,” “classic."