painter of the Southwest and leading art instructor, Ben Konis has won
international acclaim for brilliant, vibrant oil and pastel paintings. He is a
sensitive observer and a powerful painter. Exuberant color is his trademark.
Konis' paintings sing, dance and glow with joyful vitality. His distinctive
style combines dramatic design, masterful draftsmanship, compelling mood and
dynamic rendering with brush or pastel. A Konis painting strikes the eye of the
viewer not only with its enthusiasm, but with the vitality of life itself, which
Konis somehow manages to capture through an intimate glimpse, a fleeting moment.
It is said his brush drips the heat of the great Southwest. Unusual compositions
and dramatic times of day, striking lighting and daring colors are the marks of
his work, reflecting his love of the Southwest. Native Americans of today are
principal subjects he portrays through his unique gift of seeing beyond the
subject and painting what he experiences from within.|
Konis' early training
included study at the Art Students League, Caton-Rose Institute and New School
in New York with noted teachers Robert Brackman, Frank Riley, Daniel Greene,
Anthony Toney and others.
He was later captivated by the colorful subjects he discovered during trips
to the Southwest and subsequently sold his advertising agency in New York and in
1969, moved to Amarillo, Texas where his studio and gallery are now located.
"The whole focus of my art changed," Konis reflects, "The Indians, their
heritage and customs, their land, have captivated me completely. I strive to
portray their proud struggle and deep reverence for life in my work."
He is one of twelve prominent artists featured in the book Masters of Western
Art. Konis and his art are also featured in Contemporary Western Artists,
Southwest Art and other publications.
Konis oil and pastel paintings have won numerous honors in national
competitions and are held in collections worldwide. Konis' "Lone Star Cowboy"
earned the Best Pastel gold medal in a recent Texas 150th Anniversary
exhibition, later incorporating the Texas flag and issued as his first poster of
the sparkling Sesquicentennial commemorative.
During the past seventeen years, he has gained wide experience and acceptance
as an art instructor, exhibition juror and consultant for various universities
and schools, such as the Carrizo Lodge Art Center in Ruidoso, New Mexico, where
he has been a leading faculty member for many years. When time allows, he
conducts art workshops and seminars in several states and Mexico.