Albanian artist Gazmend Freitag (1968) in front of his self portrait at studio in Linz. (Photo by Johann Traunwieser)
Gazmend Freitag was born on the 25th of May 1968 in Pataçani i Poshtëm in the Albanian part of Kosovo. He is a well known contemporary painter. Since 2004 he lives in Linz, Austria. 2013 and 2014 he attended the live nude drawing class with Annelies Oberdanner at the University of Arts, Linz. His work is full of life and uses strong brushwork and vibrant colors to put the focus on people and scenery.
01 – Portrait of Gazmend Freitag
The new work of Albanian Artist Gazmend Freitag shows his „doppelgänger“, the entity with whom he spent the weeks of quarantine in his studio in Linz in Upper Austria. Colorful, strong and ready for action they present themselves now to the public.
02 — Baresha
Oil portrait of an Albanian Baresha who is not as traditional as it seems. Colorful portrait of an Albanian shepherdess. She looks more like an Albanian princess than a shepherdess. I want to show that the most important thing in life is not what kind of work you do, but how happy it makes you. This picture has been selected for the 1st Biennale of Creativity in Verona in February 2014.
03 — The young Nadege
What happens when an artist meets his muse? He becomes inspired and obsessed with by her presence and can’t stop painting day and night. The results are historical interpretations (“Baresha”) and a vast collection of portraits that pay homage to their relationship.
The painting of the young Nadége occupies a special place in this Pantheon of Inspiration. Executed in oil on premium canvas in the style of the Old Masters, it shows her at eighteen years on the threshold between girl and woman. The portrait is suffused with a dreamily erotic air and shows her looking with a touching mixture of insecurity and curiosity towards the uncertain and yet promising future.
04— Stone Bridge in Prizren
Gazmend Freitags relationship with Kosovo and the town where he was born is deeply emotional and also an expression of pride in the history of the Albanian nation and the beauty of Albanian nature. That is why he has immortalized the Old Stone Bridge (Ura e Gurit) of Prizren in its characteristic scenic surroundings. (In a private collection)
05— The Kiss
Joe Leitner is the operator of the first Artroom-Fanpage on facebook. June 2013 he organized the first VAKO- exhibition, based on his concept of variable communication. A diverse group of artist friends from facebook was invited to move from virtual space into the real-life artroom of Hubert Thunhofer, Ringstrassen Galleries.
Here I met the “real” Joe Leitner and his wife Traudi. In front of one of my paintings they shared a deep and intimate kiss and appeared to have forgotten everything else around them. I was touched and inspired and knew that I was going to paint a picture of this kiss.
Vacation and a photograph are the inspiration for this painting, which transfers the viewer to the Adriatic Coast. We run alongside Valentina and enjoy the shore, the sun, the ocean and endless freedom. An invitation to dream and to feel at ease. (In a private collection)
07— Sonjuschka’s Dance
Gazmend Freitag sees his fellow artist Sonjuschka as the subjective embodiment of the modern feminine ideal of beauty: her shoulder-length blonde hair, charming and with much heart and soul. His colleague’s passion for dance has been captured in a sensitive style.
08— The first time I saw you
The first encounter, the first glance… we all know that special moment, when everything seems possible and the world is a wonderful place. Gazmend Freitag catches the magic and expectations of such a moment on canvas. Radiant Green and Red communicate a sense of immediate aliveness. The focus of the painting – the young woman- is bathed in light and appears to be glowing from within. To give expression to his feelings, the artist has put himself into the frame as an adoring observer, who tenderly reaches for his dream.
09 — At the Grünmarkt
Young, urban, alternative −a portrait of the city of Linz in the shape of a cyclist which Gazmend Freitag met while rambling about the Grünmarkt ( Green Market) in Urfahr.
10 — The railway bridge in Linz
A picture for the ages — the old railway bridge in Linz!
“There’s something in a bridge that strikes a chord in me. Any bridge that is torn down leaves a void that can never again be filled.“
In 2016 the 116-year-old historical railway bridge in Linz had to be dismantled due to its poor condition and replaced with a new structure. Since I have a special bond to bridges of all kinds, I felt the need to preserve the view for posterity. The result is an enormous oil painting of the old “Iron Lady” titled the “Linz Railway Bridge”