Born Pittsburgh,PA 1951
Joseph Sulkowski knew from the age of five that he would be an artist. His early skills in drawing and painting enabled him to begin a path toward fulfilling his passion.
Following graduation from Canon-McMillan High School, he studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, founded in 1809 and the oldest art school in the U.S. Later he met his greatest influence and mentor, Frank Mason, the foremost authority on the principles and techniques of the Old Masters at the Art Students League of New York. Mason was the last protege of Frank Vincent DuMond whom he succeeded as teacher in Studio 7 at the League. DuMond and Mason each taught in Studio 7 for a combined period of over 100 years.
Sulkowski became an apprentice to Mason from 1974-1979 learning the traditional principles of painting in the 17th century Flemish, Dutch and Italian techniques. He also learned how to prepare his paints, mediums and oils using recipes developed in the studios of Rubens and Rembrandt.
Joseph Sulkowski refers to his style of painting as “poetic realism”, an interpretive form inspired by the natural world. He values his freedom to view the world as a poetic vision and then to express that vision in rich impastos and luminous transparent shadows on canvas.The animals, figures and landscape of the sporting life are the subjects that continually draw Sulkowskiʼs attention. His love for sporting dogs, terriers and foxhounds inform many of his most illustrious canvases. At the same time, he is inspired by the intimacy of companionship of “manʼs best friend”, the feeling of which is expressed in his privately commissioned pet portraits.
Sulkowskiʼs trips to places afield from the quail hunting plantations of south Georgia to the grouse moors of the Scottish Highlands continue to be sources for inspiration. The artist has also often returned to one of his favorite subjects, the horse, to capture this animalʼs grace and beauty.
Joseph Sulkowskiʼs work is represented in public and private collections worldwide. His two murals of Saudi Arabian history reside in the King Abdul Aziz Museum in Saudi Arabia. Other collectors include Rolex, the Duke of Bedford, Marshall Field IV, George Michael and the Tennessee State Museum to name a few.