Whistler is home for painter and muralist Kris Kupskay (Kups) as life close to the mountains is the best fit for inspiring his artistic expression. Acrylic and spray paint are his mediums of choice, where influences of street art and realism mesh through compositions on the wall or canvas.
Kris' motivation to create is explained as “art just happens to be a better way of explaining myself. You never really know how an artist feels about something until they take the time to paint it for you. I see being an artist as a vital form of expression. It is the emotion that an individual can sink into a piece and never need to disclose. The observer doesn’t need to understand me, or what I am trying to accomplish, in order to appreciate my work.”
As he evolves as an artist and mentor, he truly values the opportunities he has had to share his passion through working with youth and communities to create something beautiful that everyone can be proud of. Kris joined us this past season as a contributor to our topsheet project, creating a custom piece for a guest that features mountains dripping into a wine glass.
Over the past few years Kups has stacked his resume with an impressive roster of accomplishments, from winning contests like HP's Bend the Rules and CBC's Crash Gallery- a reality TV show that features artists from different disciplines competing against eachother.
He describes his style as sometimes technical, sometimes not. "It provides a balance for me and can expand from a current focus of new challenge. I don't really commit to one style in particular"
The fluidity in his work is most likely what has opened up so many different doors for showcasing his art. From working as an artist in residence in the Whistler School System, to being featured in the Contemporary Masters Gallery in Hawaii, he says his work varies greatly and is generally a reflection of how he feels. His influence is spreading worldwide as he has been showcased as a featured artist in the winning slideshow at Arc’teryx Deep Winter Photo Challenge 2014, a muralist on Sherpa's Cinema's Into the Mind world film tour and has commisioned murals in Whistler, Vancouver, Tofino, Hawaii and Costa Rica.
Soon Mica Heliskiing will be added to the list, as the original piece from his mini-residence last winter will be hung in the lodge. When asked about how the mountains inspire him, Kups replied: "submerging myself with a subject is the name of the game. In this case, having an abundance of breathtaking mountainscapes followed by serious accumulation of snowfall for breakfast, lunch and dinner makes for a great outcome. This type of environment provides the ultimate motivation to strive for transcendent achievements on canvas"
"The best thing about the Mica experience was allowing me to combine one passion with another. Painting and snowboarding are two of my favourite things, and so, getting the chance to ride with someone one day and paint for them the next was an exciting moment that I will always cherish."