“I want viewers to always discover something new when they look at my paintings. I don't want to dictate how my paintings should be viewed.”
In the Beginning there Is Color
Abbie Kozik begins a painting by taking brush to canvas in this way: “When I paint my abstracts,” she states, “I reach for paint and I brush random color swatches before I decide to add shapes.” As much as the process of creating, Abbie enjoys when viewers discover their favorite color or a new favorite color in her work. She emphasizes, “I want people to be happy when they see their favorite color on the canvas.”
Once Abbie has brushed on the first color, it soon becomes interdependent with shape in creating theme. “I love painting layers of contrasting organic and geometric shapes in transparent and opaque color,” she says. “Under-colors reveal blends of patterns and unusual shades of paint.” Abbie is inspired by geometry and scientific and natural phenomenon. String theory and rippling water are examples from science and nature that have informed her work.
Important to Abbie’s own eye are qualities of a piece others may not notice at first look. Negative space, Abbie regularly points out, is as interesting as positive space.
Art That Lives in the Collector’s Imagination, Too
Abbie’s ultimate point about the work she creates is, “I want viewers to always discover something new when they look at my paintings.” Her perspective on artwork places the viewer or collector and his or her response on an equal plane with the artist. To illustrate the significance of the art collector, Abbie says, “I don't always want to dictate how my paintings should be viewed. I'm thinking about signing some of my paintings on the back purposely so the painting can be hung horizontally or vertically.”
Ultimately, the value of the art Abbie Kozik creates rests in the viewer’s gaze. She says, “I see my paintings as art that takes on a life of its own in the collector’s imagination.”
The Artist’s Process: A Love-Hate Relationship That Ends in Happiness
As with the forces that make up the universe, the opposing forces of “hate” and “love” are foundational to Abbie’s artistic process. This tension is present for each painting she creates. To explain the unfolding and end-result of her work, Abbie says, “When I add a color or shape that doesn't make me happy, I walk away for an hour or so and when I return, I add another layer of color or shapes and I'm happy again.” She emphasizes, “I don't believe in erasing. When I'm happy with the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ parts, the painting is done.”
The result? Art invested with the fullness of human emotion: we know the pain of love lost by having loved; we best understand unhappiness by knowing happiness. As with a full life, Abbie’s work represents everything that has taken place: nothing is erased, but enriched with vividness, detail, color and shape.
Abbie Kozik’s Biography
The creative elements of Abbie Kozik’s art and life chiefly are influenced by four women, her mother Bobbie Domingo and Bobbie's three sisters– aunties Franque, Victoria and Lucille. “They shaped my sense of style in everything I do,” states Abbie.
Franque, a retired wardrobe key, owns every color and skin of cowboy boots. Victoria, an actress discovered when she was a stewardess for Aloha Airlines, “still makes fashion statements that look like something out of a fashion magazine,” says Abbie. Lucille, at nearly 70, has never worn make-up and “still looks like a kid.”
And Bobbie, Abbie’s mother? “What can I say? She has the most classic sense of style,” comments Abbie.
Context provides the definition style needs to make a statement, and the lives of Abbie’s grandmothers give her art its context. Her paternal grandmother, Apo, loved to use bold color in her dress and home on the island of Hawaii. Abbie’s maternal grandmother, Granny Girl, worked in Honolulu in a vortex of style and history-in-the-making. She wore red lipstick, was a master knitter and, in a historic photo, is pictured with Marilyn Monroe during a USO tour. These women’s use of color, texture, fiber, perspective, and line — as well as the stories of how each woman expressed her life — are at the heart of Abbie’s approach to art today.
From our happiness over a favorite color to our appreciation for the humor of a title, the beauty of a theme, and the contradictions depicted on the canvas, Abbie Kozik’s art invites our interaction.
Abbie grew up in Honolulu, studied graphic design in Des Moines, art and art history in Santa Barbara, fashion design and merchandising in London and Los Angeles, and fine art in Denver.