The QCC Art Gallery of the City University of New York

Close to the Edge by Gelis Staros
Close to the Edge
Gelis Staros
May 2010
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Gelis Staros was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on October 2nd  1958, in an immigrant family with Russian, Romanian and British roots. As a teenager, he began to frequent the workshop of the artist Perez Celis. As a form of apprenticeship, he studied there and then at other artists’ workshops, culminating with study under the master painter Hector Giuffre. There he found his artistic orientation in color and composition theory.

It is with the master that Staros initiates his concept of painting, it means, to value the structure of the work beyond representation. The painting is a colored surface where the anecdote does not matter. The theme is just subjective. In 1981 Staros travels to Europe, establishing in Barcelona a pied-à-terre to his frequents visits to France and Italy. In 1987 and because of a severe illness that require full attention, Staros returns to Buenos Aires and a few years later he goes under a liver transplant. After a period of recovering something has changed about his vision of the world. Progressively Staros isolates himself from the exterior and from that he understands as “the frivolities of the art’s world and the fight of egos to surpass each other.”

In a systematic way, and it has to be said, in a very unusual way for an artist, Staros renounces, or better said, refuses to participate in art competitions or exhibitions, understanding that is not the curriculum what is worthy in a painting, but the painting itself. A very controvertible opinion, with no doubt, but defensible. Staros feels, and states, that the painting “lives” at the time it is created by the artist, which transcend the surrounding reality at the very moment of the creative act, such a the feeling of the fiddler tensing his fiddle-bow over the violin. Transcendence, then, should not be recognition of a public, but the artist’s own travel to the interior of himself. The artistic motivation is a Zen-like inner direction, and away from exterior recognition.

After working some time doing scenographic paintings for movies and the paintings for the dome of the Basilica of “Nuestra Senora de Loreto” in Buenos Aires, Staros travels in the 90’s to the United States, where he settles down and is naturalized, residing in Palm Beach, Florida.

Artist Website