Anne-Marie Kornachuk [Canadian, b 1969, Pin Court, Quebec] is a realist painter, best known for her paintings of women surrounded by reams of fabric. In her paintings the drama of the fabric takes the center stage. Working with oil and using traditional painting techniques, she is influenced by the theatricality of Baroque Art. The animated nature of the fabric speaks about the hidden internal dramas of her figures.
Anne-Marie is also known for her portraits of horses made to exact scale. Working with oil and using traditional painting techniques, she is influenced by the theatricality of Baroque Art. The horse, with its massive size, beauty and expressiveness can speak in poetic terms about emotion and experience. She meets every horse she paints, takes the reference photographs and measurements.
Kornachuk grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba and completed her BFA at Concordia University (Montreal, QC) in 1993. Since graduation she has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Canada, the US and abroad.
She lives in Lakefield, Ontario with her husband. She is an avid equestrian and a dedicated student of dressage, spending much of her free time training and having fun with her horse.
Name: Anne-Marie Kornachuk
Birthday: December 22, 1969
College: Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec
Book: The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Movie: only one? “The Cohen Brothers” have made many of my favourite movies.
Quote: “Art attracts us only by what it reveals about our most secret self.” -Jean-Luc Godard.
Second Favourite: “May the force be with you.”
For how long have been in art? How did you start? About 30 years. I was late to making art. I was a jock when I was a teenager and dropped art class as soon as it was allowed. I was first interested in photography in my last year of high school. I had to take all the other “art” parts of the class in order to do the photography section. I discovered that I had a talent for it. It wasn’t until my second year of university, when I was finally allowed to take photography, that I discovered I didn’t have the temperament for the medium. Drawing and painting suited me better.
How would you define yourself as an artist? I’m a realist painter.
Would you tell us some things about yourself? Please include a few little known facts about you as well. I live in a small town with my husband, 3 cats and my horse. I prefer living in the country as compared to living in the city. I am horse crazy, and I am a serious dressage rider. My days are divided between my studio and the barn. I have been athletic all my life, rowing competitively as a teen until I was in university. I was a fitness instructor and personal trainer when I finished my BFA so I could make ends meet and still have time to paint. I love to cook and eat. I appreciate great food and restaurants. I love to travel when I can. I love watching professional rodeo. I am addicted to great tv.
Where do you find inspiration? My inspiration comes to me at unexpected times and from any source. The beauty of the sky is a constant inspiration for me- Nature’s massive all encompassing canvas, although I never have the urge to try to replicate it. One of my reference photographs might strike me and stick with me, and then I will paint it. If some other kind of image or idea inspires me from an outside source, I will take reference photos that are my own spin on it. For example, I was walking down the street while visiting Vancouver a few years ago, I looked up and saw a weather vane that was of a horseback rider sitting backwards on a horse doing extended trot. I found that so interesting that it sparked an entire series.
What are you trying to communicate with your art? As I become older, I find my work is less “message oriented” than it used to be. I like ambiguity and subtlety, and I am most interested in what the gesture of my model might speak about. I am not painting portraits. The complicated nature of the fabric serves as a metaphor for entanglements, or inner drama. The point of view is intentionally intimate, putting the viewer in the space of voyeur or participant. I leave it up to the viewer to decide what is happening in the paintings. Underlying all of this I am presenting what I think is beautiful.
What art do you most identify with? I love baroque painting and sculpture. But I also love the work of so many living artists- painters, musicians, film makers, writers. Any work that has to do with human condition, and speaks about it in poetic ways, is going to be powerful for me. I love comedy or tragedy and everything in between.
Why do you do … what you do? I paint because I need to, my world feels right when I paint. I love the activity of painting, the mental space it allows me, the problem solving, and the continual learning that comes with painting. I have a need to create things and I use painting to meet this need.
What does “being creative” mean to you? It means being able to make something out of nothing.
Any shows, galleries, or publications where our readers can find your work? I am represented by Skidmore Contemporary Art in Santa Monica, CA, Robert Lange Studios in Charleston, SC, and Trias Gallery in Oakville, Ontario. My work is being shown at the Coors Western Art Show 2018, in Denver until the end of January. I am in a group show of Trompe L’Oeil works in April at Robert Lange Studios, and I have a solo show of figurative work at Skidmore Contemporary toward the end of the year.
How do you cultivate a collector base? I leave that up to my galleries, although I have met a few collectors that buy from me directly. With these people I send images of new works that I think they might be interested in.
Which is your most cherished piece? This is really hard to answer, but I think it is Mandala, oil on linen, 48” x 48”.
If you had an exclusive collective exhibition with other artists work, who would you choose? I’ll dream really big with this question- I’d love to show with my biggest influences- Caravaggio, Gentileschi, Bernini, Rembrandt, Velazquez and Gerhard Richter.
What do you see as the strengths of your pieces, visually or conceptually? I like to think I am good with creating interesting compositions, colour and form. My work is bold. Visually I think my work is subtly odd, which makes it interesting to me.
What aspect of your work do you pay particular attention to? Having enough time to work and getting the colour right. Everything else seems to fall into place if I get that.
What Role does the artist have in society? Artists are a gentle force in society, presenting the beauty, the ugliness, the imperfections of being human. People choose to look at it or not. But at least someone is putting it out there. Art also serves as a historical document of the time it was made, which makes it incredibly valuable for future generations.
What is your most treasured memory? A really tough question to answer, but I will share this memory: One day when I arrived at the barn my horse kind of invited me to come and lay down with him in his stall. I can’t explain how I knew this exactly but I went into his stall while he was laying down and I sat down by his head. He proceeded to put his chin in my lap and fell completely asleep within moments, I could feel his teeth resting on my knee. He began dreaming almost immediately, breathing very deeply, his legs were twitching. I was holding my breath. And then he lifted his head a little, and with his eyes still closed, he whinnied twice, quite softly. I couldn’t believe it. What was he dreaming about? Who was he calling? I was completely speechless. I then became a little worried that if he woke up and saw me sitting on the floor directly in front of his face that he might become so startled that he would jump up and possibly hurt me, so I quietly backed out of his stall and waited for him to wake up on his own. A magical moment.
What for you is the most enjoyable part of your art? Having the time and space to create.
What famous artists have influenced you, and how? Caravaggio- in university I used to stare at photos of his paintings with longing. I knew I would never own one, and I’d be lucky to see one, so I made up my mind that I need to learn to paint like him. I began painting fabric then. The Baroque artists are a huge influence. I love the intensity, the dramatic lighting, the theatricality and the strength of much of the work from this period. Velazquez was a genius with paint. He painted with such economy. Some of his paintings are so powerful. I really marvel at what he did. Rembrandt is one of the best artists to ever live (in my opinion). He let all hang out on his canvases. I admire his courage and the emotional intelligence that is portrayed in his work, not to mention that his skills are beyond measure.
What other interests do you have outside of art? Horses. Food. Wine. Travel. Great tv.
Some short questions now:
more Colours: variations of blue. Any or all colours will do really!
Textures: silk, velvet, hair.
Define your art: Contemporary figurative realism
Describe your style: “Define yourself”… realist painter
You seem to be very aware of the history of works. Where do you see films, photo exhibitions, art perfomances today? I don’t have a lot of time to see art unless I’m traveling. I watch as many films at home as I can.
How would your life change if you were no longer allowed to create art? That would not be good, but I think I would turn my attention to helping people. I would become a psychotherapist.
What do you think about the art community and market? The art community is great. The art market is a mystery.
Should art be funded? Why? Sure. Artists have a hard time making a living making art. Life is so much more than practicalities. It is important for everyone to have access to art, therefore supporting it is necessary.
Which of your projects has given you the most satisfaction? I really enjoyed making the Leaving Eden series. But I enjoy all my series while I am in the process.
Who are the writer’s you admire the most? Donna Tartt, Susanna Clarke, Cormac McCarthy, Tom Wolfe, Margaret Atwood, Martin Amis, JK Rowling
What else are you working on at the moment? Next projects? I’m continuing with my figurative work, and I have a few horse paintings in my near future.
Share something you would like the world to know about you? I am totally humbled and extremely grateful whenever someone purchases my work. I do not take this for granted. I feel beyond lucky to be able to make a living doing the thing I love.
Define “Klassik Magazine” for the audience? Klassik Magazine presents a huge variety of international arts for its audience to appreciate.
Trias Gallery, Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Robert Lange Studios, Charleston, SC, USA
Skidmore Contemporary Art, Santa Monica, CA
Awards and Grants:
Director’s Choice Award, International Guild of Realism Winter Salon Exhibition, Marshall Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
Exhibition Assistance Grant, Ontario Arts Council
Mid-Career Artist Grant, Ontario Arts Council
Exhibition Assistance Grant, Ontario Arts Council
Prize of Excellence (Excellent Art): Higashi-Futami, Florart 2000, International Art Exhibition, Hyogo-ken, Japan
Merit Award: San Jacinto College South, 12 x 12 x 12 x 2000: National Small Painting and Sculpture Competition, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
The Andell Inn, Kiawah Island, South Carolina, USA
Government of Ontario
Peterborough Regional Health Centre
Private: Canada, US, England, Europe
Marshall Gallery, International Guild of Realism Winter Salon Exhibition, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA, juried.
The Vendue, Lions and Tigers and Bears, South Carolina, USA, curated, group.
Gallery 1261, 11th Annual International Guild of Realism Exhibition, Denver, Colorado, USA, juried.
Nan Miller Gallery, Realism: A Moment in Time, Rochester, NY, USA, curated, group.
Principle Gallery, 10th Annual International Guild of Realism Exhibition, Alexandria, Virginia, USA, juried, group.
Masterworks from the International Guild of Realism Exhibition Museum Tour, juried, group:
R.W. Norton Art Gallery, Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
Appleton Museum of Art, Ocala, Florida, USA
Albany Museum of Art, Albany, Georgia, USA (2016)
The Vendue, Fluent, Charleston, South Carolina, USA, curated, group.
Robert Lange Studios, 10, Charleston, South Carolina, USA, group.
C Parker Gallery, Love, Greenwich, Connecticut, USA. group, curated.
Robert Lange Studios, 9th Annual International Guild of Realism Exhibition, Charleston, South Carolina, USA, juried, group.
C Parker Gallery, Yes She Can, Greenwich, Connecticut, USA. group, curated.
C Parker Gallery, Horsing Around, Greenwich, Connecticut, group, curated.
Principle Gallery Charleston, Women Painting Women, Charleston, South Carolina, USA, juried, group.
Buckhorn Fine Art Festival, Mystique, Buckhorn, Ontario, Canada, curated, group.
Represented by Richard J Demato Fine Arts Gallery, Art Hamptons, Long Island, NY, USA.
The Vendue, Here Now, Charleston, South Carolina, USA, curated, group.
Miller Gallery, Contemporary Figurative Invitational, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, curated, group.
Richard J. Demato Fine Arts Gallery, Transcendental Feminine Fantasy, Sag Harbor, NY, USA, group.
Richard J. Demato Fine Arts Gallery, Get Real: New American Painting, Sag Harbor, NY, USA, group.
Represented by Chamberlain Fine Art, AD 20/21, Boston, MA, USA
Trias Gallery, I LOVE YOU, Oakville, Ontario, Canada, group.
Richard J. Demato Fine Arts Gallery, Pursuit of Passion, Sag Harbor, NY, USA, group.