Photography by Don Freeman
Raghubir Kintisch (b. 1955, New York, NY) is a multidisciplinary artist whose work explores the confluence of spiritual and creative practices. By working with the cumulative transformative power of fragments and abstractions, this work, which Kintisch refers to as “mystical abstraction”, relies on the development of a personal iconography which is used as a vehicle for elevation. Their richly colored and textural oil paintings on paper are based on sketches made by using collaging and patterning techniques exploring alternative universes, the role of the artist as shaman, and the power of illusion and spectacle in transformative inner work.
Kintisch earned a BFA in Painting from Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI in 1976, and an MFA in Social Practice from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, CA in 2017. The artist has participated in exhibitions at La Foret Museum, Tokyo, Japan; LAXART, Hollywood, LA; Keystone Art Gallery, LA; Robert Berman Gallery, LA; Mary Karnowsky Gallery, LA; Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena; Winslow Garage, LA; Proxy Gallery, LA; MutMuz Gallery, LA; Angels Gate Cultural Center Gallery, San Pedro, LAUNCH Gallery in LA, and Tryst Art Fair in Torrence; among others.
In 2017-2018, they were part of a long-running group show at the Museum of Modern Art in N.Y. entitled Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978– 1983. In the summer of 2023, Kintisch was a Byrdcliffe Cottage Artist in Residence and a fundee of the Pollack-Krasner Foundation. In 2022, they were a Byrdcliffe Communal Artist-in-Residence for visual arts and in 2021, a recipient of a Silver Sun Foundation Residency through The Secret City - also in Woodstock, N.Y. Their most recent work consists of oil paintings on paper, mixed media collage, and tonal paintings in India ink. These works depict through texture, color, and reflected geometry and pattern, the mental terrain of the meditative state. Kintisch currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
I refer to my richly colored and textured oil paintings as “mystical abstraction” and use pattern and repetition to invoke a meditative response in myself and others. The work itself is painted directly on heavy duty watercolor paper without primer and the dry matte finish is due to the direct absorption of the paint into the paper. This patina is further enhanced by working with palette knives with undiluted oil paint.
My work is an ongoing investigation into the role of artist as medium. My subject matter lies somewhere between representation and abstraction and stems from my obsession with the confluence of spiritual and creative practices. I have long been interested in metaphysics and the paranormal, magic and illusion, and the use of ritual and spectacle in transformative inner work.
Patterns and repetitive forms, both visually and auditorily, have the power to create alternative universes. I practice this by deconstructing my own pre-painted imagery, amalgamating the components together, and using these abstracted collages as my sketches. With devotional iconography, nature or even self-portraiture as a starting point, it is no surprise to me that the construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction of images closely resembles the inner processes of spiritual transmutation.