Betty Kane discovered Ukrainian artist Alexandr Onishenko during a visit to Prague.
Hearing jazz music waft out of his gallery as she strolled the streets, she went in to investigate. His New Impressionist paintings entranced her, and she started the process of bringing him to the Hayden-Hays Gallery at The Broadmoor, which she co-owned at the time. She and the other two owners, Kris Faricy and Norma Lee Quinlan, sold the gallery in 2010 to John Marzolf, said Jamie Oberloh, assistant director of what is now called The Broadmoor Galleries. Shortly after the sale, Onishenko opened his first show. A second show at the gallery took place in 2011, and his third exhibit opened Friday.
Thirty of his paintings, ranging in price from $3,000-$8,000, will be up through Nov. 4. He will also hold the international premiere of his film, "The Act," on Saturday. The painter, who currently resides in Prague, will be at the gallery for the premiere from noon-4 p.m.
The 15-minute film is about a painter who falls in love with a model. She shows up at his studio after the loss of a relationship and proceeds to silently reflect back on her lost love as the painter captures her ever-changing moods and emotions on canvas.
Onishenko is known for his New Impressionist painting style, said Oberloh.
"He starts Impressionist-style, with a black canvas," he said. "He doesn't use black in his painting. He leaves a void on the canvas to show the black background. It creates a depth and intensity and vibrancy."
Oberloh has worked with the artist for two and a half years.
"If you had a lineup, and had to pick an artist out of it, he'd pop out," Oberloh said. "He looks like an Eastern European artist. He did a lot of commercial art when he was younger to pay the bills, but he was inspired by New Impressionism, and decided to pursue his life as a true artist."
Contact Jennifer Mulson at 636-0270.