Polish illustrator Bartosz Kosowski has received three gold medals from American societies for his Lolita film poster and his Time magazine cover showing Vladimir Putin in a camoflage balaclava.
Bartosz Kosowski is one of those artists who is more recognized and acknowledged abroad than in his own country. The graphic designer and English philologist has been cooperating for years with prestigious periodicals from all over the world, including The New Yorker, The New Republic and Perspective. His works have been shown in the most important publications regarding the global illustrators’ environment: Illustration Now! Vol.4 (published by Taschen) and 200 Best Illustrators Worldwide 2011/2012 (published by Lürzer's Archive). He also won the Associazione Culturale Good Design competition (2008) and is a finalist of the European Design Awards (2012) and the New York Festivals Awards (2013).
At the end of 2014, Kosowski’s illustrations were awarded with three gold medals presented by American graphic design experts. New York’s Society of Illustrators acknowledged his poster for Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita – created for an exhibition at the Spoke Art gallery in San Francisco dedicated to Kubrick’s work. The Lolita poster was awarded in the Advertising category and was showcased at the competition’s summative exhibition in the New York’s Museum of American Illustration (7th to 31st January, 2015)
(…) when I visited this museum, I was wondering how wonderful would it be to showcase my own works here. Now this is going to happen. It’s probably every illustrator’s dream.
– said Kosowski in an interview with gazeta.pl
Soon after that, the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles also awarded Kosowski with a gold medal for Lolita and, additionally, for his graphic showing Vladimir Putin in a grey-red camouflage balaclava on a mock-up of a cover of Time magazine. Kosowski's works won out against over a hundred other illustrations sent by artists from all over the world.
I was induced to do this work by the situation on Ukraine. After I did the illustration it turned out that Putin has in fact been chosen the Person of the Year by the Time once before. I had no idea about this when I was making the illustration. I really struggled, because I had to show Putin with his eyes and mouth only. The rest of the face is covered, so resemblance was difficult to show
– the author continued.
Yet, Kosowski has so far never been awarded in Poland, nor has he made it into any Polish illustration exhibitions. Let’s hope that his American successes will finally raise interest in his works here at home.
Bartosz Kosowski - an illustrator, a graduate of English philology at the University of Wrocław and the Faculty of Graphics of the Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź. He runs the one-man Blackbirds Illustration studio, where he creates mainly portraits and press illustrations. He cooperates with world famous magazines, including The New Yorker, 11 Freunde, Gazeta Wyborcza and Newsweek. His works have been published in the prestigious Taschen publication Illustration Now! Vol.4 and 200 Best Illustrators Worldwide 2011/2012 by Lürzer's Archive.
Sources: bartoszkosowski.com, lodz.gazeta.pl, oprac. Agnieszka Sural, 5.02.2015