Classic art historical imagery is found in rock and roll heaven on the backs of the painted leather creations of internationally acclaimed artist and designer Janusz Gilewicz. Eric Clapton, Iggy Pop, Joe Cocker, David Bowie, Slash – the list of rock stars and celebrities who commissioned fashion statements from this New York City-based artist goes on and on.
As a young artist in 1986, Gilewicz escaped Cold War Poland and made his way first to Rome. There the young genius immediately landed a coveted job as assistant set designer for Federico Fellini’s movie Intervista. A short while later he made his way to Manhattan, where he was asked if he could do a painting on the back of a leather jacket. The rest, as they say, is history.
Soon the rock stars and other luminaries were making their way to the artist’s East Village studio to have their leather jackets adorned by Gilewicz’s brush. Joe Cocker had tour jackets emblazoned for all the members of his band. Clapton purchased a jacket with a Madonna with Child icon motif studded with pearls and semi-precious gem stones. “There is almost no limit to how ornate a client’s unique piece can be,” says the artist. Barney’s carried the Gilewicz collection. A major exhibition of his jackets was presented in Tokyo.
Gilewicz moves freely between his fine art paintings and his fashion and design commissions. “I live to paint,” he says. Throughout the years since he arrived in New York he has enjoyed success in both fine and applied art, with gallery shows in Tribeca, the Hamptons, Japan, Paris, Italy, and this past year with a major exhibit in his native Warsaw. “I always include both the paintings and the leather jackets in any exhibition. I love them equally.”
AMM is proud represent Gilewicz for commissions and sales of both his leather jackets (and other accessories) and his paintings. Readers can commission works by contacting us at Reiss@artsmanagementmagazine.com