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Meet the Artist: Q&A with William Kozar
Whose art is showing now at the Mulberry Street Library? Why, This is Kozar! William Kozar's exhibit This is Kozar, Don't Hate me Because I'm Beautiful - Glitter Compound Paintings, is on view through January 2, 2013. An art opening and art giveaway will take place on Saturday December 22, 2012 from 11 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. in our Community Room.
William Kozar went to art school, left art school, worked in the business world, made jewelry, then went back to art school, somewhat in that order. He's been making art steadily again for the last decade, and his work has been featured in Elle Decor, as well as on the design website, Area ID.
Now this brings us to glitter. Why glitter? It conjures up numerous images — kids' glue 'n glitter crafts, glamorous sequined leotards as featured by the Solid Gold dancers, hyperbolic greeting cards, etc.
There is nothing typical about William Kozar's glitter art, and therefore, neither is this Q & A, which was conducted as Kozar installed his work one chilly November morning at Mulberry Street Library.
Why do you like showing art in libraries?
I like showing art in unexpected places, like in Laundromats, and libraries. Showing in these spaces gives me the freedom to create without the restrictions of showing in an art gallery. I had my first library show at the Pelham Bay branch, in my neighborhood in the Bronx. Planning for a show gives me a deadline, which inspires me to work on exploring new ideas. Dealing with art galleries and curators can be a bit like that book, The Sociopath Next Door. They will be very nice to you and then suddenly not call you anymore. Artists are very vulnerable, and can be easily taken advantage of. I just make art now and am not focused on selling it.
Working with epoxy and glitter gives a three-dimensional quality to the paintings. Glitter really catches the light in interesting ways. Some pieces are matte and some are shiny, depending on the size of the glitter. I buy the glitter in large quantities in the Flower District in Manhattan. I wish I could get the colors custom dyed! The theme is inspired by walking down Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue, seeing the people, and the fashion, and the models. There is both a vacancy of personality and ephemerality to high fashion models that is both alluring and melancholy at the same time. These paintings are all named after models (Iman and Naomi, just to name a few). The work is also inspired by advertising in fashion magazines, like the seductive images of spilling, glossy, nail polish.
Your work is both conceptual and highly skilled. What is your take on the difference between Art and Craft?
Art speaks to the intellectual side of creativity, the message. Craft is more about skill, and the individual craftsperson.
Do you like to go to museums and galleries?
Yes, I try to go to shows, though I can't catch everything I'd like. I like to go to art auctions especially, like Sotheby's, Christie's and Phillips. You can catch items there that will never been seen at any museum because they have been in private collections for such a long time.
Why do you want to do an art giveaway at your opening?
I don't want to do just a traditional opening with snacks and pop — I want to give away the art. This time of year is a time for giving, and these pieces (8 1/2" x 11" color prints) will make nice gifts.