Former Steamboat resident Sigi Malinowski returns for art show |

Former Steamboat resident Sigi Malinowski returns for art show

Nicole Inglis

Sigi Malinowski

— For seven years, German-born Sigi Malinowski lived behind Sleeping Giant. He gazed at the mountain from a perspective not everyone — and certainly not every artist — gets to see.

And indoors, Malinowski sees the world from a similar offbeat perspective. Walls and ceilings are no constraint for the painter, who has interior mural work and paintings on every surface imaginable in Steamboat Springs and around the world.

He also works on canvas, and several of Malinowski's oil paintings will be on display during Jan­­uary at The Olympian Sales Cen­­ter, an art show curated by local interior designer Irene Nelson.

A reception is from 5 to 8 p.m. today at the sales center.

"He's not really eccentric," Nelson said about Malinowski, a longtime associate in her design work. "He's very sophisticated. He's very pleasant and easy. He can do anything.

"He's an artist, and he just takes his artistic skill and uses it in interiors, and he just has vision."

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The white-bearded man smells of pipe smoke and speaks in few, emphatic words.

His self-portrait, hanging on a wall in The Olympian, shows him staring into the viewer with a slight scowl and a cigar hanging out of his mouth.

Malinowski said the portrait is thinking, "Let's have an art show."

Although portraits dominate the show, it would be remiss to say that he specializes in painting people. The only thing he truly specializes in is creating.

"If you do the same style all the time, it gets boring," he said in a thick German accent. "There's so much to explore."

From portraiture to surrealism, from stonework to an homage to old masters such as Rembrandt, Malinowski focuses his passion on being immersed in his art, and not worrying so much about what happens to it afterward.

He's not afraid to hang his work outdoors on a fence near his house in Norwood, nor is he worried about his murals in houses being exposed to the elements of a household.

"I like having them around to enjoy them," he said. "Isn't that the whole reason?"

Malinowski's interior work features murals that often delve into alternate worlds and realities.

And he's not without a sense of humor. In one local house, he turned two exposed plumping pipes in a ceiling into a resemblance of the Loch Ness Monster.

"He's an interior magician," Nelson said. "He can create a reality that isn't there."

He painted a seascape onto the walls of a bathroom and turned a living room into an al fresco patio.

He and his brother, Vincent, helped design an architectural structure called the TerraHome, for which he builds houses and designs interiors.

He also works from a traditional place in his paintings, playing off light and colors of Rembrandt, which he said are masterful and difficult to duplicate.

But whether on a wall or on canvas, and whether it's a portrait, landscape or abstraction, his works cover vast space.

"Big space is nice to have," he said. "It's because you can do big things."

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