Soothing Moments, Copyright Josef Kote 2017
STONE HARBOR – Kicking off an exciting season of art exhibitions, Ocean Galleries, 9618 Third Ave., Stone Harbor, welcomes guest artist Josef Kote for a Memorial Day weekend show, marking his first appearance in New Jersey.
“Josef Kote – Drifting Away” opens at Ocean Galleries on Friday, May 26 and runs through Monday, May 29 with all artwork available for acquisition. Exhibit hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday. Guests will have the opportunity to meet Josef Kote when he signs purchased artwork from 7 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, May 27 and Sunday, May 28.
A New York-based artist, Kote is best known for his distinctive style and technique. His paintings are symphonies of light and color that are lyrically stunning and romantic, edgy and current. Kote achieves this delicate balance of seemingly contradictory qualities through his complete mastery of technique and through years of experimenting to find his own unique style. With the lightness of a true master’s hand, he combines classic academic and abstract elements, fusing these, literally letting them run into each other with dripping colors and light, by using his signature drip effect along the bottom. Kote’s trademarks are his bold brushwork, and sweeping strokes of vibrant colors applied – more often than not – with a pallet knife, while other areas of the canvas are left monochromatic and devoid of detail, creating a negative space that lets the eye drift to infinity. The results are paintings that tremble in stillness with energy and light.
A native of Albania, Josef was attracted to art from a young age. As a 13-year-old, he made up his mind to become an artist and was focused on being accepted to the finest art high school in his country. After competing locally and nationally, Josef was awarded a coveted spot at the National Lyceum of Arts in Tirana, where he was educated in the traditional approach of the Masters.
With a solid art education in painting and scenography, Kote began his professional career designing and painting theatrical scenery at the Petro Marko Theatre in Vlore. In the late 90s, the 26-year-old moved to Greece, where the warmth of the Mediterranean sun and brilliant light infused his paintings in tone and style, and lent them a more impressionistic air. Highly respected, the young artist did well and received many important commissions, including the “Meeting of the Leaders” for the Hellenic Cultural Union in Thessaloniki and a portrait of the former president of Greece, Konstantinos Stephanopoulos.
After a successful 10 years in Greece, Kote moved to Toronto. Already renowned for his beautiful portraits and scenic paintings, Kote now garnered additional kudos for his gorgeous urban scapes, and snow scenes. His color and style moved away from the impressionistic influence toward a more expressionistic feel. The paintings from this period are a clear indication of the continual development of Kote’s style and his fluidity and growth as an artist.
In 2009, Kote moved to New York where his paintings and style morphed once again. The colors grew bolder and his style became so unique that it cannot be ascribed to an existing genre.
Gallery owner, Kim Miller, describes Kote’s art, “Seeing Josef’s artwork in person is an incredible experience. Each piece captures shimmering moments in time and space, and is filled with light, energy, and love for whatever subject he chooses to portray.”
The “Josef Kote – Drifting Away” exhibit will be at Ocean Galleries in Stone Harbor from Friday, May 26 through Monday, May 29 with all artwork available for acquisition. Exhibit hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday. Josef Kote will make special gallery appearances at receptions from 7 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, May 27 and Sunday, May 28.
In addition to an extraordinary collection of artwork and custom-framing, Ocean Galleries also offers a variety of hand-made crafts from local, regional, and national artists in America, such as glass, pottery, jewelry and furniture. All summer exhibitions take place at the Stone Harbor location of Ocean Galleries, 9618 Third Ave., which is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through June 15, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. for the remainder of the summer season. The Avalon location of Ocean Galleries, 2199 Ocean Dr., is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (609) 368-7777 or visit oceangalleries.com.