Paco Rosic creations combine artistic elements of both movement and fine art, blending kinetic and street art styles to recreate an existential experience; a ‘graffiti kinetic movement piece’ captured on canvas. Upon viewing Rosic’s work, you find yourself challenged to travel back with him to relive a previous experience. The artist uses cans of spray paint led by a series of movements to define a moment conveying mood, tone, sound, and vision. Essentially, Rosic performs a dance of color, evoking all senses as he matches his speed and rhythm to the pulse of the experience he has chosen to recreate. He moves quickly; poised and concentrated, to the beat of the sounds from the cans. As quick as the movements are created from within, so is the expression. Through his dramatic and colorful dance, a blank canvas morphs into a Rosic creation. Similar to a musical performance or a theatrical act, each composition is unique and ever-changing, specific to the experience. However, unlike performance art, which will forever vanish once concluded, Rosic’s work leaves behind a painted replicated moment in time. Each moment is captured and held by a canvas, challenging the viewer to relive the experience again and again. Paco Rosic has managed to develop a technique to study and capture times, created so we may forever gaze upon, and be transported back to the very experiences that may have otherwise been lost. Simply stated…Paco pieces are timeless experiences.
The choice to paint people of Cambodia in black and white is of particular interest because it forces a concentrated perspective. Black absorbs all light and therefore creates an absence of color, while white is the result of all colors combined creating radiant emittance and reflection. Thus, the play between absorption and reflection, absence and radiance, forces the looker to draw upon the surrounding color and actually ‘see’ the existence of the figure. It is the surrounding environment that colors the figure, yet, it is the figure that has or has not been manipulated by the environment. The two become married in a world of mystical beauty and depressed poverty; light or darkness. Black or white. Where on the spectrum each figure resides, is determined by the viewer’s interpretation of background color and the depth of connection to their own humanity; their personal affiliation to a light or dark world. Rosic has painfully chosen colors that will be absorbed and reflected to convey the true emotional essence specific to each character. To view the Cambodia exhibit is not only an opportunity to experience the humanity of another culture, but to journey inside and experience one’s own.
Evelin Rosic was born in 1979 in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. Rosic spent his first 12 years of life in a suburb of Sarajevo. He had his first art exhibit at a local hospital where he painted birds on the wall to take his mind off his own pain and that of many other children. Unfortunately, war would eventually shatter the life of the Rosic family and tear apart Evelin’s childhood. With a Muslim father and Catholic mother, the Rosic family was welcome on neither side of the civil war that would tear apart their country. Shuffled from safe house to safe house, the family hid from religious and ethnic persecution from all of the warring parties. The Rosic family eventually made their way to Germany where they were allowed asylum while war continued. It was 1992, Evelin, barely now a teenager was impressionable and reborn into a new emerging world of hip hop culture and dance. In a new land with new friends, Evelin would create a new identity. In homage to one of his mentors Tony Der Assi (whose graffiti moniker was “Paco”), Evelin Rosic became Paco Rosic. He joined the infamous b-boy dance group known as the Unique Wizzards who danced as back-up for many major American hip hop acts that toured Europe. Paco was so talented as a dancer, dancing turned competitive. In the tradition of “Zulu Nation” born from the New York hip hop scene, Paco’s talent as both an artist and dancer exploded. But Germany was not to be the final stop for Paco. The war ended in Bosnia and with it the Rosic family’s asylum in Germany.
After the war ended, again the Rosic family again faced an uncertain future. “You learn to live for just tomorrow. Without identity, without country,” Paco says. The Rosic family migrated to the United States. In the isolation and loneliness of a new place that seemed nothing like home, Paco turned to graffiti, an art form of powerful color and expression he had picked up from his German friends. Painting became a means of survival. No longer painting publicly or illegally “tagging”, Paco started to evolve his aerosol street art into a more traditional setting creating something entirely new and exciting. His art was a blend of the powerful and edgy street art of graffiti with the traditional art he was exposed to as a young child. Tradition met with hip hop and a new type of art emerged blending the best of both worlds.
Always inspired since childhood by the story of Michelangelo’s struggle with the Pope and the resulting masterpiece on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Paco envisioned the Sistine Chapel redone with aerosol. Through the work of his father, an idea was born. Create a destination restaurant with the art of the Sistine Chapel as its centerpiece. He now had a canvass upon which he could recreate Michelangelo’s masterpiece. Long, lonely hours turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months. Fueling himself with pizza and Red Bull, Paco tirelessly worked to create his dream. After almost five months, a classic masterpiece from the Renaissance was reborn in Eastern Iowa. After the ceiling was completed, Galleria de Paco opened its doors to wide national acclaim. Paco’s masterpiece was splashed onto the front pages of newspapers across the country. He was now on the front page of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune. ABC Nightly News came to Waterloo to document his accomplishment. Galleria de Paco has become became a tourist destination for people throughout not only the country, but the world.
After a number of years of success in the restaurant business, Paco is now poised to return to art world with the same passion, aggression, and creativity that has marked everything he has ever done. His vision for his art has not changed. Paco uses his art as a bandage for the wounds of his life. He proclaims that most inspiring part of his art is that he does what he wants to do, not for commercial exploitation, but as a means of self-expression. “An artist ideally paints what he wants to paint, you paint for yourself and hope that others like it rather than painting for others hoping they will like it too.” He paints to heal. He paints to cope. He paints to survive.