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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Life seen in a different light

Zbigniew Kozikowski
Artist Zbigniew Kozikowski works on his landscape paintings in his studio at 1021 R St., Sacramento | Photo provided by Zbigniew Kozikowski

It was just after the rain stopped and the sun had just come out. Artist Zbigniew Kozikowski saw a line of umbrellas moving toward a light along the Berlin Wall that separated East and West Germany.

He couldn’t see the people, but he remembers thinking the people didn’t need protection from the weather.

Those umbrellas would provide inspiration for the artist for years to come.

“We are always hiding under something,” says Kozikowski. “These colorful umbrellas going toward the light…the umbrellas were so colorful.”

Light and color and umbrellas dominate Kozikowski’s paintings on display on the second floor of the Learning Resource Center at Sacramento City College. His pieces, both large and small, overflow with bold colors and blurred lines showing an abstract view of the world.

Kozikowski has a long-time relationship with City College, he says. He and his wife, Barbara Kozikowska lived near Land Park around 20 years ago. Kozikowski’s son would eventually take classes at City College. His wife, Barbara now works as an account clerk in the business services office, and his sister-in-law, Yvonne Maller, worked at City College for years, serving as dean of Learning Resources from 2003 to 2007.

Maller died of cancer in 2007. Kozikowski’s exhibit is dedicated to his late sister-in-law.

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This particular exhibit shows his take on urban scenes. Tall buildings reflected in rivers, dark shadows in alleyways and bright skylines bring the viewer into the paintings. Simple urban scenes come alive on canvas with oil and acrylic.

Kozikowski’s art is bold and lively. His use of deep tangerine orange, cool Mediterranean blue, rich scarlet red and every color in between creates recreations of life that are playful, honest and moving.

The colors create the moods. Pastel blues and lavender hues are peaceful and serene. Bold orange and deep red are stirring. Dark blue and bubble gum pink make the night seem like it will last forever.

There are not many people in his paintings; Kozikowski says nature inspires him most. In “Concerto,” however, small multi-colored dots represent an audience captivated by a lone pianist, the black grand piano apparent, but blurry and faded as though viewing the scene through a window during a rain storm.

Those umbrellas also appear in many of Kozikowski’s paintings. One piece, “Walking in the Rain,” displays a line of people shielded from outside forces by their umbrellas, briskly walking toward unknown destinations. Kozikowski’s long-time fascination with umbrellas reveals his own thoughts on life and the future.

“It’s like our life,” Kozikowski says. “Moving toward something unknown.”

A collection of Zbigniew Kozikowski’s paintings is on display on the second floor of the Learning Resource Center through June 15.

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