There are some who insist that Georgia’s marshes, wetlands and rivers make this area one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
To see the paintings of Stephen Kasun is to understand this sentiment. His highly textured, impressionist works capture the dynamism and stillness of Savannah’s lush vegetation, the dappled light illuminating historic avenues and vibrant azaleas or the sheen of the street after a hot summer rain. They are a mosaic of careful strokes expertly juxtaposed to bring a bigger picture into focus. Though his figures are faceless and universal, his settings cannot be mistaken. Whether it’s the high drama of a sunset over the water or the rendering of a quiet moment in a Savannah café, Kasun’s work reflects a richness in everyday life that we can sometimes forget to notice.
Savannah scenes have inspired many artists, and it was no different for Kasun.
After moving here from Cincinnati, the direction of his paintings began to change. “The sun, the outdoors, light and shadows as found in nature took the focus, rather than the figure,” he says. “They became a more interesting object of study for me.” He also began to use different instruments to capture the moods he perceived. “Still using oils, I began experimenting more with palette knives. Strokes are more expressive and deliberate and require a lot of premixing my colors — I do most of the ‘thinking’ on my mixing plate, and then the impasto surface of the paint itself reflects a purer color. The process is both frustrating and very exciting, and I strive to let that energy shine through!”
Stephen Kasun’s works can be found in galleries across the country.
But you can get them “hot off the easel” right here in Savannah’s City Market. “I love the atmosphere at City Market,” he enthuses. “Besides the collectors who know I’m here, there are people from all over the world popping in to see my work for the first time. It’s so valuable to see and hear people’s reactions to Savannah, my work and art in general. And I love that I am surrounded by artists who inspire me every day!”
You can find Stephen at work most days in his studio just across the way from his collection of finished landscapes, street scenes, florals and abstracts. Stephen Kasun Fine Art is open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. every day. For more information, head over to www.kasunstudio.com or stop by the gallery at City Market. This is a vision of the Lowcountry you won’t want to miss!
by Dani Ray
Stephen Kasun Fine Art Gallery
305 W. St. Julian Street