The Skaters. Leonard Koscianski, 26″x42″, oil on canvas, 2018.
The Skaters is a medium size painting in oil on canvas. It is a night scene, with three skaters seen through the tree branches. The dark blues of the background contrast with the yellows and golds of the illuminated windows, as do the car lights and moon. This is more of a dream-scape than a realistic landscape. It is based on childhood memories of skating at night, on a pond, in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio.
People are silhouetted in the windows, in a manner reminiscent of Chicago artist, Roger Brown. Some are kissing, some are arguing, there is a man in a darkened room working at a computer. Different indoor evening scenes contrast with the active skaters, who are outdoors, having fun under the moon.
It is Postmodern in style in that it appropriates elements from Surrealism, and American Primitive painting to create a new contemporary style. Childhood memories are a recurring subject of American Primitive art. This painting also pays homage to Dutch art, where ice skaters were often featured in genre paintings. As with much primitive and Surrealist art, the houses are severely simplified. The snow and rooftops are under painted with pure white, with blue colors glazed over this, giving the snow both a texture, and a luminous color. It is closely related to The Skater, a previous painting, and uses its top half for this composition.