Emil Kazaz is an artist’s artist, an independent spirit and freethinker. He was taught the old fashioned way, extracted the best principles of his social realist training, added to them his adventures in the new world, and creates things no one else has ever seen. The work is saturated with humanist integrity. Whether using recognizable people – he often inserts himself into his paintings- human forms or morphed creatures existing within ornate psychological constructions like “Corsican Gate” or “Long Sheep” his sense of emotional drama and visual physicality circumvent the rules of nature with unquestionable authority. They develop organically and, like life itself, evolve without preconceived plans or knowing their final destination.
In a sense, Kazaz has a lot in common with William Shakespeare, because both stage the world’s epic stories within highly controlled microenvironments. His art brings us closer to the fringe of human nature than most, attaches itself to something deep within each of us and, like a cartographer, his imagination makes maps that locate new meanings within our own personal histories. We use the coordinates to find ourselves within the loose and fluid human narrative that is never finished ( Hollander, A., 1995, Sex and Suits, The Evolution of Modern Dress, New York: Kodansha International, 27). There is nothing subtle about Kazaz’s connections. Whether on paper, linen, or cast in bronze, his well-crafted people, places and things, his poetics of imagination imitate nothing. They are real. However, in their presence it is not difficult for the viewer to be transported out of their time and place.