Rafal Olbinski, born 1945, graduated from Architectural Department of Warsaw Politechnical School in 1969. After having come to the United States in 1982, he soon established himself as a prominent illustrator as well as painter. He has also been teaching since 1985 at the prestigious School of Visual Arts in New York City. Boundless imagination and flawless technique have made Rafal Olbinski one of the widely known surrealists today. Though often compared to Magritte, he has not incorporated his precept: "A painting should neither proclaim ideas nor express emotions...". By doing just the opposite, Olbinski has developed his own visual language. His compelling, impeccably executed, but often puzzling imagery entices us to contemplate his paintings for longer than we had planned as we attempt to unravel the symbolism that obscures the statement he wishes to make or the messages he strives to deliver. Rafal Olbinski received more than 100 Awards for his illustrations and paintings which include gold medals from the prestigious Society of Illustrators and Art Directors Club of New York. In 1994 he won the International Oscar for the Worlds Most Memorable Poster, "Prix Savignac 1994" in Paris. His works regularly appear in major publications such as "Newsweek", "Time", "Bussiness Week", "Atlantic Monthly", "Playboy", "Omni", "The New York Times" among others. Rafal Olbinski's favourite poster theme is opera. Numerous art posters commisioned from him by renowned opera theaters (e.g. New York City Opera) show an instantly recognizable style and have brought him multiple awards. Posters for ''Traviata'', ''Salome'' and ''Rigoletto'' have an everlasting place in poster art history. Rafal Olbinski's posters are an excellent synthesis of surrealistic mood and from the other side - symbolism, characteristic to the Polish school of poster design. Olbinski's paintings have been acquired by some of the most important art collections. Namely, the Library of Congress Print Collection in Washington, Carnegie Foundation in New York, Republic New York Corporation, Equitable Capital Corporation, Searle Corporation, Continental Corporation, Bowne & Co. Corporation, Holiday Inn International, as well as numerous private collections in USA, Japan, Germany, Belgium and Australia.
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