The artist Edward C. Zacharewicz died yesterday at a hospital in New Jersey, he was 51. A message on his website Decay Art reads:
Sadly, on Friday May 4th 2012, Edward passed away. He leaves behind him a legacy of creativity and a large community of friends and supporters who will carry on his memory. He has enabled and encouraged many other people to follow their creative dreams and become the artists that they were meant to be, and he will be sorely missed. We love you Ed. This world lost a great artist and a great man.
I never met Edward, our friendship came by chance 2 years ago, I saw some of his paintings (breath-taking) and this led to our introduction. The conversation started and grew through messages and emails, wee small hours discussions about painting, deppression, happiness and life. He was a kind, thoughtful and wonderful man, and I greatly admired him and his artwork.
In 2010, I interviewed Edward about his art and life, and only last month we planned to do a follow-up piece. Here is an extract from that original article in tribute to Edward C. Zacharewicz.
The artist, Edward C. Zacharewicz has a large collection of antique paintings and religious prints. The collection is a reminder of the images from his childhood that inspired him to start painting.
‘I was kid and going to Catholic Church with my parents and sitting there and just looking at the paintings and murals and how beautiful they were.’
It was the colours of the paintings – the bright flame of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the royal blue dress of the Virgin Mary, the scourged body, the pierced side, the hues and textures of the crucified Christ.
Colors were important even then. His parents bought him painting-by-number sets and Edward filled them diligently.
‘I always enjoyed coloring, still do. I actually didn’t start to draw until I was 8 or 9 years old. I think it was working with color that led me to paint in the style I do.
‘Color can show much emotion without being in a physical form.’
For me, Zacharewicz’s paintings are amongst the most powerful abstract paintings of recent years.
When you look at a Zacharewicz, you can understand why his favourite painter is William Turner, the man he describes as ‘the master of making colour show power and emotion.’
Turner was the ‘painter of light’. His work anticipated Impressionism, and his use of brush on canvas suggested elements of Abstract art.
Like Turner, Zacharewicz creates layered puzzles.
‘All my paintings have to do with something from my life, a situation, a feeling, a thought, a person or place. I never decide, it just happens. I have a title for the work before I start.
‘I really don’t have a routine….sometimes I go weeks without painting, then all of a sudden I get this burst of wanting to paint…it might be a situation, it might be a spoken word.’
One of his most recent paintings was inspired this way.
‘It’s Not That Kind Of Party came from a conversation I was having with my friend Jessica Paris, who is the singer for Honey Spot Blvd.
‘I don’t even remember what we were talking about, but somehow that was said in the conversation and I told her I was going to use it as a title for a painting. The colors I used were based on her – bright, happy colors that work well with others.’
‘Sometimes, it takes me days to finish a painting, when there has been times were I have finished one in a few hours. It depends on the colours, if I want to blend them, layer them, or drag them.
‘I basically paint with acrylics, sometimes I do add oils to a painting because I love the texture it can give. Also on some I have used oil pastel crayons for a different look.
‘There are times when I look at a painting for a few hours figuring out if it is done or not. But, I always know when it is finished.’
R.I.P. Edward C. Zacharewicz 1960-2012
Love and Sorrow (2010)
More paintings by Edward C. Zacharewicz, after the jump…