Born in Bucharest, Romania, Europe
Lives & works in Madeira Park, BC, Canada
Chris Cozea had an early start in visual arts, in high school, in Bucharest, painting in tempera and acrylic before moving to oil. He also created a series of cartoons/comics, thus developing a cinematic technique which he would later use in storyboarding during his career as a filmmaker/multimedia producer. At that time he also studied history of art and learned old painting techniques while assisting art restoration specialists.
From 1973 to 1979, Chris experimented with creating cross-cultural compositions with oil painting by combining techniques and visual styles of old Flemish, German and Italian masters.
After arriving in Calgary, Canada in 1979, Chris further developed two of his main styles in oil painting: serial art and surrealism/magic realism. His works were exhibited at Gallery Mousse, Mira Godard Gallery, William B. Mitchell Art Exhibits, 17th Avenue Gallery, and in corporate offices. Private collectors from Canada and the United States also purchased and/or commissioned his work.
From 1982 to 1987, Chris studied Theatre Directing, History of Art and Photography at the University of Calgary. He was particularly interested in the Semiology of Theatre and Alternative Visual Art Forms in performing arts. Meanwhile, some of his oil paintings were used as components of the sets in various plays and experimental performances, such as The Alchemist by Ben Jonson, Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov, No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre. While completing his university degree majoring in theatre directing, Chris also created innovative set designs for live performances which he also produced and directed, such as King Ubu by Alfred Jarry and Out at Sea by Slawomir Mrozek.
From 1988 until 2012, Chris worked as a motion picture producer, writer, director, cinematographer and editor, creating both documentaries and drama. His original works, such as Never Far From Eagle Tail Hill, The Archaeology of My Canadian Identity, The Listener and The Sharp Hill Robbery/The Legend of Deerfoot, were broadcast on CTV, CBC, ACCESS Network, etc.
Chris used high impact visual creativity and novel filming techniques while producing TV commercials for clients from Canada, USA, Japan, France and Germany.
From 2006 to 2008, Chris designed and developed dozens of websites that were pioneering streaming video for promoting the tourism industry in Canada and around the world.
Between 2009 and 2011, Chris created and published Speak Alberta, an online magazine that involved original artwork along with a variety of journalistic content about the Province of Alberta.
Along with writing pursuits such as various online articles, blogs and books, Chris often created more oil paintings for private customers and corporations.
After moving to the Sunshine Coast in 2014, Chris rediscovered wood as a medium for painting and constructing 3D art expressions, which he experimented within Alberta. The omnipresent wood culture of British Columbia began to strongly influence his creative explorations. Chris eventually identified his overarching interest in painting novel forms of devotional art. Using wood as a medium that he began appreciating in his native Romania when painting Byzantine and Early Italian Renaissance style icons, he continued using it in Canada, where he experimented with various approaches to exploring spiritual art forms, when painting with oil on gold leaf applied on wood panels, in manners as diverse as Early German Renaissance and Greek Orthodox iconography, as well as Persian style and Early English biblical scenes from illuminated manuscripts.
Moreover, late 18th Century artists from southern Scandinavia, such as Per Svensson, Bernhard Joensson and Johannes Nilsson, who created traditional folk art based on old biblical scenes, became exploration case studies, which Chris enjoyed and expressed in creative reproductions performed with oil on wood panels.
Unlike in his ongoing work with oil on canvas, Chris has generally tried to avoid anthropomorphic and zoomorphic expressions in working with wood in 2D and 3D forms. He favours abstract, original semantic themes, unusual decorative combinations of old and new styles in representational art, in which alliterations of signs and symbols form semantic constructions and express rich cultural relations.