n ardent interest in the beauty of Koi, and the diversity of their colors and patterns, has led artist, Terry Gilecki, to devote his artistic endeavors to capturing their essence in his masterful paintings.
Collectors all over the world have been buying these exotic images and, while Koi are the main feature of his work, Gilecki also likes to include their surroundings by merging the elements above and below, as well as those reflected on the water's surface, in his paintings..
Born in 1954 in British Columbia, Gilecki received a diploma in Commercial Art in 1973 and began working as a free-lance commercial artist. His imagination and ability to innovate proved to be outstanding when confronted with challenges. In just a few years, with a talented staff he had personally trained, he began to independently produce large pictorial art for international advertising corporations. Along with this endeavor, he began painting fine art. As the growing demand for his art increased, he realized that he had found his niche and now devotes himself fully to the field of fine art.
His attraction to and study of Koi brought him to the realization that through his paintings, he would be able to emulate the simple and rewarding pleasure of actually watching Koi. Gilecki is,"pleased that the 'effect' translated so well into his art, allowing him to bring a small piece of Paradise into a viewer's home."
Gilecki likes to offer some information on the Koi themselves to show why he is so enthusiastic about them. The more he paints them, he says, the more he discovers about their interesting and much debated history and origin, their individual characteristics, their apparent ability to recognize and respond to their keepers. For instance, Koi are bred in every country and considered to be the most popular fresh-water, ornamental pond fish. They can live 25 - 35 years. They are often referred to as "living jewels" or "swimming flowers." In Japan, they were referred to as "Warriors Fish", and "The Fish of Nobility" since they were too costly for the average person to buy and keep. Today, top quality Koi can cost as much as $25,000 with pedigree Koi values still climbing into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Their ancestry can be traced back to at least 20 million years in South China. However, some authorities believe they originated in Persia and then spread throughout the ancient world.
While their history and origin are much debated, Gilecki feels that even though he could paint Koi for his entire life, he still would not know it all. "Creating a painting is a journey and returning with discoveries worth sharing and exploring, makes the journey worthwhile."
Gilecki's unique paintings of Koi have provided him with a seemingly endless source of inspiration. As you look at his art, you are drawn into an intimate world between the surreal and the real -- a world that fills you with an inner peace and a profound sense of calm.