Artist Kristof Kosmowski at the Art on a Whim Gallery in Breckenridge,
IF YOU GO
Who: Artist Kristof Kosmowski
What: Meet Kosmowski and hear the stories behind his artwork
When: Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.
Where: The Art on a Whim Gallery at 100 N. Main St. Breckenridge
Kristof Kosmowski was a prodigy in the European art world. He was awarded with 25 one-man shows in the largest cities of his native Poland by the time he was 25. He was also honored to show his work in the countries of Germany and Finland at such a young age. His training at both the Escola Massana Centre d’Art in Barcelona, Spain and the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland, intensified his focus and furthered his career.
Today, he resides in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. This weekend, he will be making appearances in the downtown Breckenridge gallery Art on a Whim on Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.
His early recognition came from realistic renderings of a variety of sports. These paintings can be found in significant collections around the world. He was commissioned by the country of Poland to create a series of work which was used as postal stamps. In 2008, his work was used as the official poster of The Davis Cup — one of the world’s premier tennis tournaments. His work is on display at the National Museum in Warsaw, Poland and in the Finnish Parliament building. Interesting collectors include Andy Roddick, Richard Petty, Greg Popovich, Leonard Taylor and plenty of corporations.
In 2009, Kosmowski moved to Colorado. In 2010, his life of creative exploration took a turn for the abstract. He began painting in a new style with new materials. His modern, expressionistic approach features his love for the landscape as his muse, as he loosely portrays Colorado’s mountainous landscapes, aspen groves and bodies of water. His inspiration is drawn from past masters such as Monet, Rothko, Klimt, Cezanne and more.
“My paintings come from the colors,” Kosmowski said in a statement. “I stopped caring too much about defined shapes, and I started to care more about colors and how they contrast in nature. I got bored painting subjects. If you have a minute to stand in front of a Rothko painting and look at it for a while, you get a different dimension. I am trying to do the same thing in a different way. I am constantly learning from the masters. If you focus you can see and feel realism within my paintings.”
Much of his artwork is about neuroaesthetics. They are about shifting our perception of the world around us. He frequently depicts mental representations of an object, typically nature, rather than its actual form. His artwork does not adhere to the light, shadows and color properties of objects in the physical world, yet it appeals to us because they reveal just enough form for our brains to complete the puzzle he has presented us with. His new painting “Valley View Lake” serves as a perfect example.
Kosmowski’s challenging medium of Venetian plaster and oil paints provides his work with depth, texture and a rich vibrancy. Venetian plaster is primarily composed of crushed marble and lime putty. Its extensive history dates all the way back to Roman times, with a resurgence during the Renaissance era in Venice and again with Kosmowski.
“I lived in France and visited the Palace of Versailles in 1978,” he said. “The things you could not touch were composed of Venetian plaster. It was so well done, and I didn’t know things could be done in this technique. It stuck with me, and I decided to explore it later in life. Now it comprises all of my artwork. I love working with the medium because you never know what is going to come up. It is organic — you cannot tell what is going to lie behind the surface after you complete polishing it.”
Shades are always shifting, and I am always surprised by what I am able to reveal. When I start a painting, I know roughly what colors I want to use, but, after I apply the pigments, the polish will always give me different, spontaneous colors. I’m running around the painting like crazy, painting and scraping and polishing.”
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