How KISS Inspired Anatole Krasnyansky’s Surreal Style

Guitar Anatole Krasnyansky Park West Gallery

Guitar” (2006), Anatole Krasnyansky

Artist Anatole Krasnyansky didn’t interpret the hard rock band KISS as music, but a “message from Hell” that resulted in the birth of a second style.

Following his immigration to the United States from the U.S.S.R. in 1975, Krasnyansky worked as a set designer and background artist for TV and movie studios. In 1981, while working on a special for ABC-TV, Krasnyansky encountered KISS.

KISS is notorious for its iconic face paint, elaborate costumes, and intense rock performances involving pyrotechnics, smoke, and flashing lights. Nothing in Krasnyansky’s classical Eastern European training could prepare him for KISS’ assault on his senses.

“For me it was a culture shock,” Krasnyansky says.

Krasnyansky needed to purge the distress and anger he felt, but found his traditional artistic style based in architecture couldn’t properly convey his feelings. The artist continued searching until he adopted a surreal and Baroque style.

“Rok’n’Roll,” Anatole Krasnyansky

The first painting resulting from this exorcism of emotion was “Rok’n’Roll,” created in the early 1980s. In it, a multi-faced grotesque figure plays horn-like instruments amidst a nightmarish setting. A mask floats ominously in the background above the figure, which Krasnyansky says represents KISS’ god.

“I did the symbol of the god of this scariness,” Krasnyansky says. “It’s empty, there is nothing behind [it]. There is no body, there is no soul.”

With the completion of “Rok’n’Roll,” Krasnyansky made a realization that changed the way he viewed humanity—everyone, including KISS, wear masks. Krasnyansky says depending where we are and who we are with we adapt and put on a mask.

Interlude Anatole Krasnyansky Park West Gallery

Interlude” (2016), Anatole Krasnyansky

With this realization, Krasnyansky explored his new style further, combining the structural aspects of his architectural background with vibrant, visual energy and bright colors. His figures evolved from monstrous beings to playful jesters donning masks with whimsical expressions. For Krasnyansky, what started as a message from Hell became divine inspiration.

“I discovered for myself a new method, a new approach,” Krasnyansky says. “If it becomes important for the art world, then I will thank God for my destiny.”

Anatole Krasnyansky Gateway to the City Park West Gallery

Gateway to the City” (2012), Anatole Krasnyansky

Krasnyansky’s surreal figures retain their musical origins, often depicted with string instruments, horns or accordions. Combined with Krasnyansky’s introduction of texture with handmade paper, the figures practically vibrate off the canvas with life and music.

Never one to forget his roots, Krasnyansky continues to paint in his two distinct styles, even combining them to create colorful figures dancing and performing in grand, arched buildings.

For information on how to collect the artwork of Krasnyansky, contact Park West Gallery at (800) 521-9654 ext. 4 or sales@parkwestgallery.com.

7 Responses to How KISS Inspired Anatole Krasnyansky’s Surreal Style

  1. JOSEPH RUSSELL says:

    THANK YOU FOR THE NEWS LETTER AND THE STORY ABOUT ANATOLE & KISS

  2. Steven Eisen says:

    I am fortunate to have met Mr. Krasnyansky and his wife at a couple of Park West events. I have collected a few of his works including an original selected on the personal recommendation of the artists (he helped me choose between 2 works). He also graciously autographed my “KISS Alive II” album. 🙂

    • parkwestgal says:

      That sounds like a lovely encounter, Steven! We are glad we could help you meet Anatole and ignite a passion for his art.

  3. Bruce Zimmerman says:

    Interesting reading about the influence of KISS

  4. Steve Cline says:

    I have never cared for his “Kiss” work but I love you cityscapes

  5. Nancy Valentin says:

    I love this surrealism of Krasnyansky! It is amazingly superb!

  6. Stewart Ferrier says:

    Thank you so much for this enlightening information on this artist . We have five of his works .Rok and Roll is absolutely fantastic .

Leave a comment

Prove you\'re human. *

Latest News

  • View Rare Dominic Pangborn Art During Gala Fundraiser

    At the age of 10, Dominic Pangborn was adopted by a family in Jackson, Michigan. Now, 55 years later, the Jackson Art Network is honoring his artistic legacy with a ...
    Read More
  • Art News: Thieves Steal Invader Art, ‘Loving Vincent’ Images, Childhood Art from Masters

    The art world is full of fascinating exhibitions, intriguing discoveries, and moments that shape history. Here are some of the latest news items making art headlines.  Thieves Target ‘Space Invaders’ Mosaics ...
    Read More
  • Voting Begins for the Next MI Great Artist

    Help decide who will be named the 2017 MI Great Artist by casting your votes at MIGreatArtist.com.Public voting for the MI Great Artist contest runs from August 17–28. Individuals ...
    Read More
  • 6 Destinations for the Ultimate Museum Road Trip

    Want to experience the beauty of fine art around the country but don’t know where to go? Look no further—read on for a museum “bucket list” that will inspire the ...
    Read More
  • Park West Gallery’s 2017 Fall Sale Now Online

    Summer may be cooling down, but the hottest artworks are now available in Park West Gallery’s 2017 Fall Sale.Whether you’re intrigued by the work of master artists or the newest ...
    Read More
  • Art News: Chicago’s Picasso Turns 50, Virtual Van Gogh Exhibition, Met Open Access...

    The art world is full of fascinating exhibitions, intriguing discoveries, and moments that shape history. Here are some of the latest news items making art headlines. Picasso’s Chicago Sculpture Celebrates 50th ...
    Read More
  • Nature vs. Nurture: Is Artistic Talent Innate or Learned?

    Is artistic talent something we are born with or learned through external influences?The age-old debate of nature versus nurture questions whether genes and biology or environment and experience determine particular ...
    Read More
  • 4 Ideas for Beating Post-Cruise Blues

    We’ve all had post-vacation blues from time to time—whether it hits you when you disembark or finally arrive home, it’s easy to become bummed out going back to the grind.Post-cruise ...
    Read More
  • Video Premiere: Alexandre Renoir Continues Great-Grandfather’s Legacy

    Alexandre Renoir’s artistic journey continues on the path started by his great-grandfather, Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The enthusiastic artist says he is looking forward to where his art takes him next.“If ...
    Read More
  • Behind the Artist: David Najar

    In the midst of our digitally-driven age, David Najar has two words of advice: “Just breathe.”Najar’s philosophy is simple, underlying the cause of his discipline as an artist, an optimist, ...
    Read More
  • Art News: Met Art Investigated, Mass. Museum Selling Art, Kurt Cobain Art Unveiled

    The art world is full of fascinating exhibitions, intriguing discoveries, and moments that shape history. Here are some of the latest news items making art headlines.  The Met Relinquishes Two Artworks ...
    Read More
  • Summer Sale Offers the Art of Yaacov Agam

    Collectors who want to add the fourth dimension to their collection can acquire the artwork of kinetic artist Yaacov Agam during the 2017 Summer Sale.Agam is often referred to ...
    Read More