Exploring the Sacred
Beholding the Sacred
The Piczek Sisters
Churches with Piczek Art:
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Isabel and Edith Piczek, born in Hungary, began the study of art early in their childhood under the guidance of their father, Zoltan Piczek, who was himself an artist.
Isabel had her first exhibition at age eleven and went on to win several first prizes through the next three years, clearly establishing her career as an artist. Throughout their childhood, they shared their passion for art and began fostering a personal and distinct art form. Their artistic partnership blossomed and matured through the years, which makes their personal histories difficult to separate.
The Sisters were only young students when already they were beginning to visualize the contours of a new Sacred Art form, — a new world culture — and they knew there would he no opportunity to create that in the suppressed world behind the Iron Curtain under a Communist regime.
It was not an easy decision, yet there could he no alternative. They must attempt an escape across the border to Austria. It was extremely dangerous, but good fortune prevailed, and they found their way to freedom.
After a brief stay in Vienna, they “painted” their way across Europe, traveling from one monastery to the other and enduring great hardships along the way and eventually ending in Rome, which was to become their home for the next three years.
In Rome, Isabel won the international grand award for painting at the Galleria di Roma and was commissioned to paint a 400 square foot true fresco mural at the world famous Pontifical Biblical Institute owned by the Vatican. Renowned art historian, Engelbert Kirschbaum and other influential art critics judged her plan for the famous mural. Edith cooperated with Isabel in painting the fresco. For seven months they worked at the great painting which presented unforgettable experiences for the two teenage artists. It was there, where they met some of the finest minds of our time, theologians, scientists and scholars of every kind.
In the following three years spent in Rome, they completed 42 mural paintings. Declining a scholarship to the Academy of Fine Arts in Paris, they traveled to the USA. By now, the years of romantic wondering had produced an inclination to settle down and face up to the challenge of their lives, creating art for a visual revolution known as Mystical Realism. The sisters came to the United States in 1956.
The sisters established their Studio in Los Angeles and completed colossal murals, mosaics, stained glass windows, and tile works for over 500 buildings in seven countries on three continents.
Isabel created a 300 square foot figurative stained glass entrance for the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. after winning an international call for artists.
Isabel likes to mention the Resurrection mural at Holy Cross Mausoleum in Culver City, CA, the artwork of the Sacred Heart Chapel in Santa Ana CA, the mosaics of St John Neumann Church in Irvine, CA, in the Orange Cathedral, at St. Anne of the Sunset in San Francisco, CA, at San Fernando Mission Mausoleum, Mission Hills, CA, and at St. Mary Magdalene’s in Camarillo, CA, the mural paintings of the Cathedral in Reno, NV, Holy Family Church in Deming, New Mexico and St. John Fisher’s in Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA.
Edith likes to point out from her many artworks the mosaic and stained glass of St. Anne’s Church in Las Vegas, NV., the stained glass windows of St. Victor’s Church in West Hollywood, CA, the windows of the Orange Cathedral, the giant windows of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, Los Angeles, CA, the windows of St. Catherine Laboure Church in Redondo Beach, CA, and the 900 square foot stained glass of St. Bridget Church in Los Angeles, CA.
The artists’ work on three continents and seven countries seems to have reached its aesthetic summit in the Guardian Angel Cathedral. The art form of "Mystical Realism" that will communicate with inner levels never touched before, opens a new chapter in the history of human visual development. So, while the remarkable works contained in the Cathedral are a logical vertex to a long and rich artistic experience, they are, in fact, only the beginning.
Sources: Cathedral of The Guardian Angels, Las Vegas, Angelus News, and other.