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Andrea Kowch: Revival of the American Gothic

Elegant Darkness

Andrea Kowch masters hyperrealism meeting a surreal dreamscape in her paintings, integrating softly haunting figures with allegorical, moody landscapes that are inspired by her motherland Detroit, Michigan, where she was born in 1986. Being an established artist by the time she graduated in 2009, she had received seven regional Gold Key awards and two national Gold Medal awards from the Scholastic Art and Writing award, going on to attain representation at prominent art galleries in Washington and New York.

"Tea" by Andrea Kowch, acrylics on canvas

By 2005, Kowch was commended with a National ARTS Award that ranked her within the top two percent of American artistry.  Her credentials and captivating pieces have allotted her permanent positions at museums and galleries, along with private collections.

"The Visitors" by Andrea Kowch, acrylics on canvas

Eerie Beauty

Kowch has been described as “a powerful voice emerging”, communicating her awakened state through “culturally laced symbolism”. Her evocative eye presents the reader with starkly, homely, yet eerily dystopian scenes with masterfully realistic human and animal form. The viewer is transplanted at the scene and can’t help but be touched by its elegant darkness.

"An Invitation" by Andrea Kowch, acrylics on canvas
"Pecking Order" by Andrea Kowch, acrylics on canvas

The recurrent themes of natural disaster, old-world clothing and pattern, and ominous foreboding create a unique surreal blend of emotions and relatability.  Andrea is keen to “create a subtle tension, for viewers to attribute their own personal experience.” As symbolic as her pieces are, Kowch propels the viewer to decipher the eerie beauty into their own narrative.

"The Feast" by Andrea Kowch, acrylics on canvas, 2014

Maddening Honesty

Kowch considers “old masters of the Renaissance” as the main influencers of her gorgeously precise work, referencing artists such as Henry Wyatt and Edward Hopper (both widely acclaimed realism painters of the 20th century.) The immersive three dimensional quality of Kowch’s work is not only a mark of her artistry but also intention to create a portal into the dreamscape, giving people the opportunity “to pull up a chair and feel the scene.”

"In The Distance" by Andrea Kowch, acrylics on canvas

Andrea gravitates around feeling, she paints with the depth that she sees focusing on “raw beauty and the psychological truth of the human condition.” Kowch’s words are shrouded in spirituality and honesty, and her artwork most certainly matches this. It is clear that the level of her skill and the width of her emotional intelligence fuse together to create something more than stunning, but something that speaks to the “raw human condition.”

All images copyright of Andrea Kowch

Signed and Numbered Limited Edition Prints of all included works are available here.

You can view more work by Andrea on her website.

Article written by Kate Smith

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