Emerging Artists | Joseph Gyurcsak

An intuitive approach

Joseph Gyurcsak, Vizcaya Courtyard, acrylic, 11 x 14.

Joseph Gyurcsak, Vizcaya Courtyard, acrylic, 11 x 14.

This story was featured in the December 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art December 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Painting in the annual Plein Air Easton competition is no easy feat. Not only are artists competing among some of their most elite counterparts from around the country, but they are doing so at the peak of summertime, when temperatures on Maryland’s Eastern Shore can get downright hot, says Joseph Gyurcsak. The New Jersey artist has attended the event several times, but when he returned this past July, eight years had passed since he last participated. “When I came back, I had matured in my philosophy and in my approach as an artist,” he says. “I had a plan, and I stuck to it.”

Serendipitously, Gyurcsak’s plan materialized on the very first day of the event, just after the opening orientation, as he was returning to his host home near Easton. “I turned the corner and saw this truck parked under a garage port awning,” he says. “What drew me to it was what always draws me to my subjects—the abstract qualities, the colors and energy, even if it’s a small burst of energy. Like here, there was a green door, and the light seemed to radiate from behind the truck. It looked like it was glowing.”

Gyurcsak immediately set up his easel to complete a sketch and then returned to the location over the next few days to finish a larger acrylic painting—a tour de force titled GARAGE PORT GLORY that garnered the event’s grand prize. With 40 years of painting under his belt, the artist knows this to be true: “If you’re not moved by what you’re painting, then I see no point in making an investment in it,” he says. “If the energy isn’t there, I just move on.”

The former professional illustrator transitioned to a fine-art career in the late 1980s, and he began painting en plein air with artist Steve Kennedy soon after. Today Gyurcsak explores his
ever-growing interest in abstract realism through a variety of subject matter, from portraits to interiors, and he works from life whenever possible. “It’s about you being in a situation, absorbing it,” he says. “When you’re working from life, an undeniable truth exists in the painting, even if it’s not perfect. Van Gogh wasn’t the most accurate draftsman, but when you’re standing before his paintings, you feel a truth in them.” —Kim Agricola

representation
Eisele Gallery of Fine Art, Cincinnati, OH; William Ris Gallery, Jamesport, NY; Hagan Fine Art Gallery & Studio, Charleston, SC.

This story was featured in the December 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art December 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

MORE RESOURCES FOR ART COLLECTORS & ENTHUSIASTS
Subscribe to Southwest Art magazine
Learn how to paint & how to draw with downloads, books, videos & more from North Light Shop
Sign up for your Southwest Art email newsletter & download a FREE ebook

COMMENT