“As I get older, I see looking to the future, both as a society and as individuals, as an act of seeking the Utopians that exist in our romanticized memories of the past. Memory is both the greatest blessing and the greatest curse. The line between the difference is what I am so drawn to explore, to understand.”- Todd Kosharek
“Utopian Vision – The Peach Blossom Spring,” encapsulates artist Todd Kosharek’s view of the world. Utopia was an island said to be an intentional place of community, an ideal society. Kosharek’s painting “Peach Blossom” depicts what is thought to be the first sighting of Utopia.
The painting’s story concerns a fisherman who comes upon a society living in perfect harmony. The fisherman stays for one week, then departs to his former life. When he tries to return to Utopia, he perishes.
TODD KOSHAREK | UTOPIAN VISION: THE HISTORY PROJECT, opens at Altamira Fine Art on October 3rd, runs through October 15th, and hosts an artist’s reception at Altamira on October 6, 5-8:00 pm in Jackson, Wyoming. A dance, themed to the exhibit, will be performed by Kosharek’s wife, Kate Kosharek.
Now a father of two, Kosharek’s growth as an artist is evident. That happens with parenthood, but in Kosharek’s case it’s really not a surprise; he began his own life journey~~or at least his visible Jackson Hole life journey~~on a higher plane. His perceptions of people, the way we live, his committment to truth and clear, balanced vision seem far above average.
Saturated in art history, Kosharek’s contemporary paintings have developed a highly focused and meditative style. He’s as meticulous and balanced in his artwork as poets are when constructing great poetry.
“I went seeking poetic verses on peace through (sic) and acceptance of love. I looked at Shakespeare, Wordsworth and Cummings….Then I re-read letters from my wife. “Love Letter” is the first one I ever received, 13 years ago. She wrote about a great peace within [regarding our] whole situation, the admitting of vulnerability toward another person. I thought this was a perfect summary of love: having a sense of peace to the unknown,” writes Kosharek.
This exhibition focuses on Kosharek’s ongoing Crane Series, and a sample of his landscape painting occupies the top of this page. With this new exhibit, Kosharek merges interior and exterior worlds.
Sebastian Junger’s book, “Tribe,” concludes society has grossly inverted our own utopia; from our earliest days on this continent, reports Junger, our industrial society “waged an ongoing campaign against a native population that had barely changed, technologically, in 15,000 years.”
“It may say something about human nature,” writes Junger, “that a surprising number of Americans–mostly men–wound up joining Indian society rather than staying in their own. They emulated Indians, married them, were adopted by them, and on some occasions even fought alongside them.”
The opposite almost NEVER happened, Junger points out. If an American was exposed or in any way initiated into Indian culture, they never looked back. Living off the land, living in an more egalitarian community, brought peace.
“There must be in [the Indians’] social bond something singularly captivating and far superior to anything to be boasted of among us,” wrote a French émigré, according to Junger.
Our early, wild country was a Utopia. Kosharek is hopeful; as Jackson Hole works to find its way back, Kosharek’s paintings offer us ways to think about peace and prayer.
“Utopian Vision:The History Project” is Kosharek’s second show at Altamira, and that’s a seriously great sign.
NOTE: It’s a pleasure to have been with Jackson Hole’s art scene throughout the summer! This is my last post for a little while, as I begin packing up to return to Jackson full-time. Thanks to everyone for reading the Jackson Hole Art Blog, and I’ll see you soon! You can always check my Facebook Page for quickie art updates! ~~ Tammy