Boris Koodrin's INNER VISONS

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S.M. Times Article

San Mateo Times Thursday Oct 27, 2005
by Bonnie Zanardi


"San Bruno's Boris Koodrin's paintings
a search for meaning"

IN ONE WAY or another, doorways enter into nearly all the works of San Bruno artist Boris Koodrin, who describes painting as "a huge opening up to life."

An exhibition of his surrealistic works opens Tuesday at the Caldwell Gallery.

He paints, he says, "not to become famous, but to walk through my fear and find out what's on the other side."

A major theme running through his work is a blurring of the line that separates dream from conscious reality. That blurring, he notes, can make access to either or both easier, "to break the trap of the logical mind."

Koodrin also is partial to natural themes. Awareness of nature can provide an access to the spirit world. He is very comfortable with nature, having studied wilderness survival and Apache tracking methods with noted wilderness expert Tom Brown Jr.

Koodrin was introduced to art at age 7, when his grandmother, a "real traditionalist," trained him in portraiture and landscape painting. He studied advertising art at City College of San Francisco and worked as a freelance political cartoonist at San Francisco State University. He also dabbled in set design, which provided his first chance to work large.

His work as a printer for several years forced him to work small. Recently he had a chance to get back to really large-scale work when he spent a year doing a 40-foot mural celebrating the 150th anniversary of St. Ignatius High School in San Francisco. The mural was dedicated in June.

Koodrin owns and operates The Image Co., a manual screen printing company in San Bruno.

All paintings in the Caldwell Gallery exhibit are acrylics on canvas. The largest are 4 by 5 feet. The political cartoonist part of Koodrin's nature can be found in the subtle gag he uses to first engage the viewer, although he stresses that he is "not a humorist."

He notes that he likes realism, but his themes are surreal; his paintings are "basically reminders." After engaging the viewer "with something interesting, the rest is just me playing with the process and allowing it to unfold."

The Caldwell Gallery show is titled "Dreaming from the other side" It remains through Dec. 30. The gallery is on the main floor of the County Government Center, 400 County Center, Redwood City. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. The gallery is curated by ARTshare. Call (650) 591-2101 or visit




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