Boris Chezar (1913-2008) worked joyously every day, waking at 5 a.m. to saw wood, sketch new pieces, attend to works in progress, and make adjustments to older work. His career lasted over 80 years, up until a few months before his death on December 28, 2008.
Boris was born in New York City in 1913, one of five sons of Russian immigrants. He began painting in his teens, and was granted acceptance to study at The Cooper Union in New York City. During extensive travels in Mexico and Nova Scotia, Boris sketched and painted the local flavor. In Mexico, he met and painted with Jose Clemente Orozco, whose style of bold symbolism would later influence some of Chezar work.
During World War II, Boris served in the Army-Air Force, painting huge murals depicting inspirational military themes. After the first one he finished, the commanding officers were impressed and asked him to do another, five by 17 feet at the hospital at Ft. Dix, New Jersey. He would later boast he asked for (and received) four men and two months to do the job. After the war, Boris began a family with his wife, Faye, and started in commercial art with J Walter Thompson. It wasn’t long before he struck out on his own as a portrait artist, working in pastel, charcoal and oil. Summers were spent in the Borscht Belt of the Catskill Mountains, and during Winters, Boris worked aboard cruise ships, painting portraits and giving lessons.
His modern abstract work began in the early 70s with painted constructions, and prints of space and nature themes. In the mid-80s he began constructing dimensional paintings, some over seven feet square. In 1997, he moved to Sun City, and began the work he called “Random Modalities” where he incorporated the frame as part of the art(a technique he has patent pending).
In his career, he completed water colors, oils on canvas, acrylics on wood, portraits, still life paintings, landscapes, abstracts, and mixed media. He once called Da Vinci and the other artists displayed at the Louvre “a bunch of illustrationists.”