Octavia | Art Gallery
4532 Magazine Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Stefan Szczesny studied at the Academy of Fine Art in Munich from 1969 till 1975. Following his education in the late 1970s, Szczesny joined the Junge Wilde movement that was emerging in the German-speaking world. The movement rejected the conceptual and minimalist art of the time, embracing bright intense color and expressive lines. Most notably, Szczesny initiated the “Rundschau Deutschland” exhibition in 1981. The exhibition intended to popularize the Junge Wilde movement, featuring the main protagonists of the movement.
Szczesny’s prolific body of work maintains the principles of this movement. With a Matisse like quality, Szczesny creates expressive works filled with vibrant color and movement. His images combine flowers and Caribbean landscapes with outlines of the female figure with the intention of provoking a sense of joy.
Most recently, Szczesny was commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund to complete a series of twelve murals for the Expo 2000 in Hannover. The murals are intended to visually communicate the importance of protecting the environment and endangered species. The whole mural measures more than 350 square meters in size. In 2007 Szczesny set out to conquer Mainau Island, transforming it into a modern Arcadia. The lush vegetation of Mainau Island was combined with Szczesny’s steel shadow sculptures and hundreds of ceramic vases covered with archetypal signs and markings reminiscent of ancient cave dwellings. The final product is a mysterious wonderland filled with floral elements, fruits, nudes and scenes of the Mediterranean landscape. Szczesny’s art displays an allegiance to Primitivism, capturing those subjects, which bring him joy, with spontaneity and lightheartedness.