Nicholas Kozak is an alumnus of UMass Dartmouth with a degree in Art Education and a concentration in painting. He paints from his studio in his hometown of Westport, MA. In a region where landscape and maritime scenes dominate the galleries, he chooses to focus on the human figure. Though his work is considered realism, he paints with the abstract in mind, focusing on arrangements of shape and color, where composition takes precedence over narrative.
I have always been fascinated by the human figure - it's form and its capabilities. The figures that I use in my paintings tend to be relatives or friends. However, my paintings are not so much about these individuals as they are about composition and color arrangement. I use typical situations and familiar objects as a way to engage the viewer in a composition of color, shape, and spatial relationships that I find interesting. I enjoy creating a scene that is seemingly ordinary, yet captivating.
In my process, I focus primarily on the shapes of color I see and their relationship to each other, such as the way a muted color can gain intensity when placed near a complimentary color. Occasionally, I like to incorporate still-life or complex objects into my figurative paintings, as they create additional obstacles to overcome and keep my painting process a continuously challenging and stimulating experience. While realist in nature, my work is the end result of this abstract process.