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Paco Rosic, Waterloo Painter

posted on June 17, 2007


Our final artist is a Bosnian immigrant who embodies the power of youth, energy, and courage. Here's a quick look at Paco Rosic as he interprets the Sistine Chapel on his Waterloo restaurant's ceiling.

Shankle: I first became aware of Paco and his work in I believe it was 1998, shortly after he'd arrived here. And so we asked him to come in and create some murals for this exhibition.

As with anything with Paco, he gets an idea and he just runs with it. He's so full of energy and passion. I think within a week, he created a whole exhibition of works, including the piece here, Y-C-B crew. It was done not too long after he had come here from Bosnia, and Y-C-B stood for "yesterday comes back."

And in explaining that to me, he said that it made reference to the fact that throughout the history of man that things just happen over and over again, that atrocities in humanity are just repeated and there's war after war relating directly to the experiences of Paco and his family.

Rosic: Like you're reading this book, I am reading this painting to know exactly what you have to do, you know. Because if you think 500 years ago, this is what I like about this piece, the Bible, people couldn't read, you know, only those highly educated at this time. And now Michelangelo shows it a really nice way so people can read. When they go in, they can see the Bible, exactly the same thing.

For me, each artist has their own language. You have to really research about him and learn and look and read about him, what he ate, what he drank, anything about this guy. It's just a different language.

Kelley: He's using a medium that is pretty much associated with graffiti to do other things. Even though he's an aerosol artist, a spray painter, I think he looks at -- well, obviously he looked at Michelangelo, and he loves Picasso as much as I do. And I think those things maybe all kind of coagulated in the right place at the right time.

Rosic: The best part for me, you know, I paint for myself and from my heart. That's what makes -- that's the best part of being an artist, you do it for yourself. You paint what you desire. That's the way I see a true artist.

Tags: art artists Iowa painters water Waterloo

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