American artist Steve Bogdanoff is a master in replicating the fresco form. Originally influenced by ancient Greek art, Steve’s career has flourished over the past 25 years, earning him international recognition in his field.
“My initial introduction to fresco art came during my studies of the Minoan civilization, circa 1500BC. The artists on the island of Thera were innovators in utilizing color from the earth, and their free style of drawing and interpretation of subject matter was brilliant. I believe that art as we know it today was borne from these ancient artists, and I honor them through my work.”
Bogdanoff began detailed drawings of people and scenes at age 6, and painting oil on canvas by age 10, which he continued through the late 1980s. In 1990, he became captivated by ancient art history, studying as many archeological illustrations and history as possible. Bogdanoff began to experiment with painting on plaster to capture a wall mural effect similar to those in his research, and proceeded to create his first fresco secco-style piece. Because he was educating himself in a new medium, Bogdanoff was forced to think beyond any previous formal training, which ultimately proved quite invaluable. A passion for creating fresco paintings grew and flourished for the next 10 years. From 2000 to 2005, he was juried by a prestigious art panel to be featured at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, taking a break in 2001 and 2002 to prepare for the opening of Bogdanoff Gallery on Royal Street in New Orleans’ historic French Quarter. In 2006 the artist relocated to Santa Fe, home to America’s second largest art market. Now, 22 years after creating his first fresco piece, Bogdanoff is recognized internationally for his interpretive fresco secco paintings and giclée works on paper and canvas. His art is displayed in residences and businesses worldwide, and is featured in numerous national publications.
Bogdanoff is influenced by ancient Greek art among others, replicating in the fresco form scenes depicted in scores of wall murals, friezes, reliefs, vase paintings, and statues ranging from the Greek Bronze Age through the Renaissance. He strives to capture the essence of not only a time in civilizations lost but also of past cultures which continue to fascinate archaeologists and art enthusiasts alike. Bogdanoff envisions what colors and styles would be applied for a displayed wall painting of a specific subject at that time in history and assimilates his interpretation into the fresco piece. He also incorporates his neo-expressionist and realist works with the fresco secco technique through a marriage of classic, contemporary and modern styles. 'I believe that, by melding ancient with modern, I am conveying how humankind is all connected through primordial life. Also, I feel that our planet is fractured on so many levels, and the breaks in my work signify the strength of the human spirit and its ability to rise above even the most unbearable obstacles, thereby evoking hope.'
Utilizing his concept of color and composition, together with a comprehensive knowledge of archeological discoveries and art history, Bogdanoff creates historic and personal moments forgotten in time. His intent is to achieve the creation and reinvention of images that have the powerful ability to extract myriad emotions through the awe-inspiring richness and variety of select subject matter and the technique of paint application to plaster.
“I am on a path of wellness,” says Bogdanoff, who uses his talent to assist him with his journey. “Painting is a form of meditation for me, from which I receive strength and balance. Every session at my easel is very gratifying, both emotionally and spiritually, and ultimately gives me the gift of serenity and happiness. For this, I am truly grateful. My hope is that by passing my works on, they will affect others as they have affected me.”
PART OF THE PROCESS
“Once I prepare my plaster/lime “canvas,” I rub in numerous thin acrylic pigment washes with towels, brushes, and my palms and fingers, building up layers of the washes until I have a completed painting. I then proceed to “vandalize” my work by distressing the paint and plaster through numerous steps to achieve an appearance of antiquity, which include cracking, breaking, sanding, sawing, chiseling, sculpting, pitting, and staining. After the breaking process, I am left with re-assembling numerous pieces of my canvas, fitting them all back together much like a jigsaw puzzle. There are no faux breaks or cracks in my work. The fresco is then mounted onto a customized precision-sized backing for reinforcement. ”
My artwork has been published in these international publications:
Mastering Digital Printing, Second Edition
Art Galleries and Artists of the South
Destination For Men