Classic Carl hangs with art

Classic Carl hangs with art

By Carl Thompson

By Carl Thompson

Art Critic

Friday, August 24, Classic Carl had the good fortune to be invited to an art show opening at the Excalibur in Chicago. Marty Lazer, the “curator” of the show, assembled the works of a very eclectic and unusual group of Midwest artists.

Never having been to an opening reception, I didn’t know quite what to expect. Wandering around the different levels of the Excalibur, viewing the works of a half dozen artists, it occurred to me what dark, tortured souls artists must be.

Though some paintings were quite interesting, most had dark undertones, some skulls were involved, and issues of angst were everywhere. One was gripped by the fear that our creative people had given up on life.

Then, way in the back of the building in the Cararet Room, I stumbled upon the works of Polish artist Marek Kossiba. The vibrant colors and stunning craftsmanship of his paintings are a reaffirmation of the possibilities—a celebration of life, the embodiment of beautiful thought in sensuous forms. I truly felt that I was in the presence of art.

Kossiba’s paintings have titles such as “Ecstasy,” “Seduction,” “Pale Sensuality” or simply “Pauline.” They are almost hallucinogenic in nature, beyond psychedelic. These works have the ability to instill in one the hope of the human spirit.

Kossiba has an interesting history. He was fascinated by the works of the masters at an early age. His love of art came naturally, as his mother was also an artist. He began working with watercolor at the age of nine.

He studied physics in college, but he longed to break the bonds of the closed society of communist Poland. So he joined the Polish navy and spent 20 years traveling around the world. His travels afforded him the opportunity to visit many galleries around the world, expanding his knowledge of art. His work reflects inspiration from the European, African and American cultures.

His works can be found in many public and private collections, including the Maison Internacionale des Gents de Mar, Rown, France; the Polish National Museum, Walbryck, Poland; the Polish Maritime Museum, Gdansk, Poland.

Some of his work can also be seen at The Artery (formerly Gallery 10) 514 E. State St., and other samples of his work will be featured in the December, 2001 issue of The Artist magazine. Kossiba has been recognized by the magazine as a finalist winner of the 2001 art competition for his painting, “High Seas,” in the Landscaping category.

For those who would like to view Marek Kossiba’s exquisite paintings, the exhibit at the Excalibur , 640 N. Dearborn St., Chicago, runs from August 24 through November 11, 2001. More of his works can be seen at his studio at 2248 Tumbleweed Lane, Beloit, WI 53511. Call (608) 361-0321 for an appointment.

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