Born 1957 in Starkville, Mississippi and raised in the Delta, Alex O'Neal graduated from Rhode Island School of Design and School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In the Eighties, his formal education overlapped regular visits with Mississippi self-taught artists, including Mary T. Smith and Luster Willis. O'Neal's drawings and paintings have been shown at The Drawing Center, New York; Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; P.S.122, New York; Herbert Johnson Museum at Cornell, Ithaca, NY; Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta; Tennessee Arts Commission, Nashville; Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, MS; Festival International d'Art Singulier, Aubagne, France; LACE; Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans; Chicago Cultural Center; Ecomuseu, Valls d'Aneu, Spain; Amory Arts Center, West Palm Beach; Red Clay Biennial at Huntsville Museum of Art, AL; Rockefeller Art Center, SUNY Fredonia; ART LA; Laguna Gloria Museum, Austin, TX; and Linda Warren Gallery, Chicago. His work is in volumes 16 and 38 of New American Paintings.
O'Neal been awarded fellowships from New York Foundation for the Arts (2001), John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (1999), Tennessee Arts Commission and Walter and Anne Knestrick Fund of Nashville (1998), Djerassi Resident Artists Program, CA (1997), and National Endowment for the Arts(1987-88). He has been a resident artist at Camargo Foundation, Cassis, France; Refugiet Klitgaarden, Skagen, Denmark; Millay Colony, Austerlitz, NY; Saltonstall Foundation, Ithaca, NY; Ragdale Foundation, Lake Forest, IL; Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, Temecula, CA; Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Ireland, and Fundacion Valparaiso and Centre d'Art i Natura, both in Spain. Alex O'Neal lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.