I first saw the amazing photography of Frank Kozarich
when he applied to participate in Falling for Local
at Franklin Park Conservatory 2 years ago. I was in awe of his gorgeous macro photos of insects, flowers and nature and was pleased that he did participate in the show. Since that time, I have run into him at several events, seen his posts on the Art and Artists of 614 FB page and finally asked him if he would let me feature him here.
Throughout his professional career, he has worked in creative fields. First, he was a chef in the restaurant industry and now as a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machinist. In case you’re interested what that means (I was!), CNC machining is a process used in the manufacturing sector that involves the use of computers to control machine tools such as lathes, mills, routers and grinders. First, a CAD drawing is created, a code is created that the CNC machine will understand, the program is loaded and finally an operator produces complex 3D shapes. This type of machining is
used in jobs that need a high level of precision or very repetitive tasks. Sounds pretty complex and creative to me!
Although his career allows for creativity, that wasn’t enough for Frank so 4 years ago he created his own photography business called KozaVision. The name was inspired by Willy Wonka’s WonkaVision…what a hoot!
Coming from a family of very creative people ranging from woodworking, to ceramics, painting, drawing and photography, it seemed only natural that he would catch the bug! Aside from art classes in school, the only formal training he had was in painting and drawing at summer art camps at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown Ohio. During these camps, kids were allowed to work on projects that were of interest to them and the instructors would teach the students the skills that applied to their chosen medium. Many of his earliest memories are of creating art. However, he has had no formal training in photography—he is completely self taught!
Frank’s works mainly in macro photography of subjects found in nature. He states that as a person of faith: “I love to take what was already created by the perfect artist and show it to the world from a new perspective. Items in nature take on a whole new sense of wonder seen really up close. I try to shoot in such a way as to create abstract images.”
Since he says he can’t afford a digital medium format camera, he had to come up with a way to make larger images. So using a tripod, a ballhead (an attachment for a tripod that is a mount with a swiveling ball) and macro rails, he devised a way to shoot multiple pictures of the same subject in different locations and then stitch them together to create one large image. To do this, Frank sets up his camera and subject in a desired position. He then takes the first macro photo, moves the camera via the macro rails a fraction of an inch and takes another pic, another shot and so on until he gets what he wants. Next, using a free software editing program called GIMP, he manually lines up all of the images so they are seamless so they can be ‘stitched’ together to form one large image. Interesting, huh? He likes to slow down and take a closer look at items that we all see every day to see if there is a hidden jewel in a tiny package that can then be turned into an a glorious photo.
In 2013 I won ” Best Emerging Artist” in the Columbus Arts Festival. He has also displayed his works at Columbus Metropolitan Library, Port Columbus International Airport, Innis Woods Metro Park and Michael Seiler’s Studio…WOW!
Just recently, he displayed his work at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens (March 21st through April 26th).
As if that isn’t enough, in the last few months he has decided to revisit drawing and painting. “Since my early artistic endeavors were painting and drawing I have decided to start exercising these artistic muscles again.” This desire stemmed from his interactions with multi-discipline artist Daric Gill. He realized that he didn’t have to limit himself to one medium. After visiting the exhibit “It’s Saturday Morning Somewhere” at Vanderelli Room, he also realized that he could create ‘good’ art using subjects that are both humorous and whimsical. So, he began sketching pieces that blend cartoon characters and well-known movie posters such as Elmer Fudd as Hannibal Lecter, Yosemite Sam as the Terminator and Bugs Bunny in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He has others in the planning stage as well and is now interested in turning these drawings into paintings with the ultimate goal of becoming a multi-disciplinary artist.
When asked what direction he would like to head with his art/photography, he said that at first he was just doing it for fun but when things starting moving along and he started to strive to get into galleries and other venues, the stress killed the joy of making art. Now that he has allowed himself to slow down and focus on strengthening his drawing skills with silly projects, the joy has reemerged! “I think I will just enjoy my art and whatever happens will happen.” What a great philosophy! Something tells me that whatever happens will be pretty amazing!