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 Jerry Cajko  (1941 - )

About: Jerry Cajko
 

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Lived/Active: New Mexico      Known for: town-landscape adobe view painting

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Adobe Pueblo
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from American Design Ltd.:
Jerry Cajko finds subjects for his oil paintings in almost any scene -- architecture, landscapes, still life, the way a person sits or stands.  He then uses color, his most potent tool, to dissolve the subject into irregular shapes, in multiple pastel tones. "Color," he says, "is my clue -- bold or subdued khaki, mauve, or brilliant white. Once involved with the subject, the strokes and colors interplay, forming my impression -- an impression of a reality."  For example, Cajko personalizes the buildings that he paints by using unpredictable hues, disappearing corners, hidden structures, and intriguing shadows to gently draw the viewer toward an entrance. It's what's inside --mystique, character," he explains. "It's a great adventure for an artist to try to capture that."  Where once he traveled to faraway places to paint such scenes, Cajko now finds the scenes that charm him in the Southwest.

Cajko studied at the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota; during that time, he was selected by the government of the Netherlands to receive a five-year scholarship to the Jan van Eyck Academie.  From there, he went on to Japan and Hong Kong, absorbing and studying the local arts and cultures.  Then he was off to paint in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, India, and Nepal. "Being an artist," he describes, "is like having an international credit card; you get to participate in others' lives. Art is the universal language."

While traveling and painting, Cajko merged the techniques and philosophies of various countries with the free spirit palette of Florida during the early Sixties and formed his own unique impressionistic style.  While in Japan, he absorbed that culture's version of impressionism, concentrating on his subject at great length, then painting quickly and purposely, leaving the picture incomplete and offering an opening -- an enigma.  He refined techniques of spontaneity and intense observation, achieving a new perspective on lightness and darkness that led him to create the evocative works for which he has become famous.

Cajko paints only in oils because, he states, "oil is a sensuous medium. It builds up and is transparent. It doesn't stop the light; the light goes through it. It's not dead; it can continue the color." He makes all of his own colors, creating airy pastel shades that are tender, fragile, but do not retreat from the subject matter. Cajko works outdoors, sketching; he then paints, "mixing like mad as I go -- for the mood and to get the exact lighting."

A partial listing of those corporate collections where Cajko's paintings are displayed includes Xerox Corporation, Ciba Pharmaceuticals, Arabian American Oil Company, and Bechtel Corporation. Cajko believes that his paintings -- like those of any artist -- should be sensed and absorbed, but not overanalyzed. "If you begin to dissect a painting," he asserts, "you've lost the joy."

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