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Poul Costinsky

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Poul A. Costinsky was born in former USSR, in city of Lvov, on the border with Poland. He finished Lvov’s art school, class of painting, in 1982. Later he moved to Moscow, where he participated in then underground art scene.


In 1998, he moved to Seattle, and inspired by city’s artistic energy, started new series of paintings, which culminated in his first show on American soil, in Pitcairn Scott Gallery, in April 2002. Since then he regularly shows in the gallery and various other venues in Seattle. His art can be found in private collections all over the world.


At some time, trying to convince public and critics that he is not representative of “bold surrealism from behind Iron Curtain” (from Stranger’s art review), he half jokingly invented new art movement, called polyrealism. It stuck, and now is the name of this web site.


He mostly paints oil on canvas, but sometimes uses other media like Japanese ink on paper, acrylics, spray paints, and even photo camera. His art reflects on human condition in our hectic age, the nature of beauty of body, soul and nature around us.


His art credo comes as a quote from a Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, who, once asked how to become a real artist, answered: “if you can help it, don’t”.

My Artist Statement

The art of Polyrealism seeks its inspiration in other realities, some different from ours in only one tiny detail, others in two, then more, up to the barely imaginable, and brings them for us to compare, contemplate and conquer.

This body of work is concentrated on one deck, played by incomprehensible entities – some call them gods – across universes and times, with unimaginable, but modest, stakes in the game. Some players use technology, some rely on magic, some stay still and allow the game to win itself for them. Each card of the deck is a window into some reality, the reality which contributes the aspect of its archetype that is necessary to advance the hand of the player. The process of trying to understand the rules and the flow of the game is rumored to constitute the highest meaning of human life.

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