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Oskar Kokoschka

About the Artist

I was born in 1963 and grew up in Edmonton. My best marks in High School were in Art Class, so I enrolled at the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary. After four years, I graduated from the painting Department in 1986. From there I moved to Vancouver and worked as a picture framer, art prepator and installer until 2006. I met my wife Michelle and then spent six years experiencing the beauty of the Okanagan Valley. We now find ourselves in the City of Kelowna.

Over the past few decades, I’ve been exploring the theme of Artists in the studio as a way to express my awe and fascination with the tradition and history of oil painting. I paint mostly interiors because I like the idea of solitude and contemplation. My working methods usually involve finding old photographs from books and magazines. Then I’ll re-interpret these images in oil paint on various surfaces such as canvas, Panel, Slate, Paper, Metal, or old fabric. Quite often the original image is black and white so this allows me to invent my own colours. The paintings tend to start with a grid, then fairly detailed drawing, and then quite a few transparent layers of oil paint. The rest I like to pretend, is some sort of secret alchemy which is supposed to fascinate and confound the viewer. (In My Dreams)

This is my list of reasons for painting:

 

  • An inquiry into the world
  • An inquiry into the self
  • The need for acceptance
  • Therapy
  • Fun
  • The expression of angst and confusion
  • Immortality
  • The yearning for beauty
  • Money
  • The desire to develop a Mythology
  • The need to communicate
  • The wish to stop time

I spend a great deal of time worrying about world events and I find that when I am creating, all of that general angst disappears and this state of bliss is amplified by a wide range of music from Beethoven to the Buzzcocks.

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