KIRPAL GORDON: I was wandering through a recent show at Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition and stopped dead in my tracks, Tony, when I saw your large and incredible paintings, especially the one with the red dot on it that the staff told me was the largest sale BWAC had made at that exhibit. Besides being one of the best students I've had at Fordham/Lincoln Center, I knew you were a great food and wine guy with a long-running restaurant on the Upper East Side, but how did you come to painting, and how did you arrive at this air brush technique? Your compositions may be based on Kandinsky and other modernists, but you take me to new places.
ANATOLE IWANCZUK: A very close friend of mine, Gunilla Feigenbaum, who is truly a wonderful artist, had been urging me for several years to try painting. At one point, she suggested I try airbrush, and generously loaned me her airbrush and compressor to encourage me to venture into painting. To my surprise I enjoyed the process and was happy to discover that I had some ability.
KIRPAL GORDON: So what happened next?
ANATOLE IWANCZUK: I set out to teach myself about color and the process of painting. I chose for this task to try to emulate some of the modern masters, like Kandinsky, de Lempicka and Tanning, because I loved their work. As I gained confidence in my techniques and proficiency, I sought to explore the boundaries between invention and reproduction. The images I choose are well known paintings from the period of industrialization – Leger and de Chirico are particular favorites because they incorporate the joining of man and machine.
KIRPAL GORDON: I noticed you do commissions. Does your approach differ when the project is a commission?
ANATOLE IWANCZUK: When I am commissioned to duplicate a specific existing work, like that poster, the part of me that is concerned with execution completely takes over. However, when I am commissioned to do any work I desire, I am free to paint as if not on commission, therefore not affected by it.
KIRPAL GORDON: How can viewers at Giant Steps see more of your work?
ANATOLE IWANCZUK: I welcome them to friend me at Facebook, go to the photos and click on the artwork. I'm also with Behance Network and look forward to opening my own new website in a few weeks: DoubleTakeArt.net.
KIRPAL GORDON: And for those of us who want to see the work up close and personal, where and when is the next show?
ANATOLE IWANCZUK: The next show is called “Wide Open” at BWAC (Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, http://bwac.org/) in Red Hook, March 18 through
April 1, 2012.