Ready to be blown away? After studying at the The American Academy of Art in Chicago from 1985 to 1986, Steven Kozar decided to drop out of art school. He had heard too many stories about commercial artists working for twenty or thirty years and then finally deciding to pursue their life's passion – fine art painting. With the love of the outdoors and exploring the countryside for new compositions, Kozar moved to rural Wisconsin to begin his full-time career as a fine art painter. Now, over 25 years later, thanks to his son's submission to a “small” site called Reddit, he's finally getting the recognition he so richly deserves.
Because the paintings are so realistic, many Redditors are skeptical that they're actually watercolor paintings and not photographs. Kozar's son, who goes by the Reddit name aleeshakozar gave this heartfelt response:
“Hey all, these are my dad's paintings…They are ALL paintings, I've grown up watching him paint my entire life, and have learned artistically from him. So I can assure you that you are not being trolled. He has been a talented artist since he was a child, we even have some drawings hung up in the family house from when he was 14. He is my inspiration, my role model, and my hope in being a great artist. If you don't believe it, that's fine. But as far as technical terms go, gauche is only used as the WHITE paint. Everything else is watercolor. Some paintings are done in oil or acrylic. But he has been doing this for a life time, non stop, all day, every day. And if you apply yourself in one thing for as long as he has, with the same amount of passion and talent, then anything is possible.”
From Kozar's portfolio, we've personally picked out our very favorite works. While for some, you may be able to find small clues that you're looking at watercolors, for the most part, you'll stay convinced that you're viewing photos. Kozar's paintings are so incredibly realistic because he's meticulous, his amazing attention to detail (notice the shadows and reflections) and his unbelievable amount of patience puts him in a league of his own.