A Bodhi Wind Original

Here is my friend Vincie in my living room, holding a Bodhi Wind original portrait painted in 1965,  She had just picked it up from the framer’s where Jennifer Panza had helped her select the frame and matting. Vincie brought it in and we unwrapped it so I could admire the framed portrait.  I’d gone with her to help get it framed, weeks ago.

It’s a really good story.

Five years ago last April, I posted about the Extraordinary Art of Bodhi Wind  

In that post I wrote about my friend Steve reading an article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette by Joe Smydo about what to do with the artwork of an artist who had passed away. When he read the article, he kept asking me if my friend Vincie knew Bodhi Wind since he’d graduated from her alma mater, Perry High School.  After a couple of weeks of him asking if I had checked with Vincie if she knew Bodhi Wind,  I finally remembered to ask her.  “Vincie, Steve has been on my case to ask you if you knew a Bodhi Wind who graduated from Perry High School who was an actor in LA”.

Steve had mentioned the murals Bodhi Wind painted for the Robert Altman film 3 Women  No, she didn’t know him.

(Here is a NYTimes article about The Man Who Painted Robert Altman’s 3 Women by Jennifer Dunning. )

So a few days later the three of us are in the car and it comes up again.

Steve is determined.  Asks Vincie himself.  Turns out I messed up by asking about an actor when I should have inquired about an artist.

When we got home, Steve got on the computer upstairs and called Vincie to come and read the article.  And there was the missing clue.  Bodhi Wind had changed his name.  For more information it said to contact his mother Mrs. Kuklis.  Vincie said, yes, she knew him.  Yes, Vincie and Charles (Chip) Kuklis not only went to High School at Perry together but they were classmates in elementary school.  Steve was insistent that she must have known him and not only did she know him but they were very good friends in elementary school, too.

This past August, Vincie and her friend Maribeth were attending their 50th Perry High School Reunion. Over the reunion weekend, the two of them went to visit Mrs. Kuklis at her home.  Her granddaughter helped show them her Uncle’s artwork but before they looked at the work,  they sat in the living room.  Vincie said that Chip had painted her portrait when they were in high school.  Mrs. Kuklis said “I have it.”

Not only did his mother have the portrait he painted of Vincie in high school,  Mrs. Kuklis had set in out on a special chair for Vincie to see, and Mrs. Kuklis asked Vincie if she would like to have it. Oh my!

What a gift!

Vince wth the original portrait of herself, painted by her childhood friend- Bodhi Wind/Chip Kuklis.  You can see his signature and the date 1965 

The Extraordinary Art of Bodhi Wind

Buddha became the enlightened one, under a Bodhi tree.  

This is the name taken by native Pittsburgh artist who tragically passed much too soon, the day before Thanksgiving in 1991.  If you graduated from Perry High School, Pittsburgh Public Schools, class of 1968, you knew him as Charles Kuklis.  An incredibly talented artist, he was always sketching and drawing.

Recently there was an article by Joe Smydo in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about what to do with an artist’s work after they’ve died.

Bodhi Wind painted the murals for Robert Altman’s 1977 film 3 Women. (Click here to read about the movie and see a photo of Sissy Spacek and Shelly Duvall and one of the large murals painted by Bodhi Wind.) He designed clothing for Cher and his work was shown in Architectural Digest May 1978.  An archived article in the NY TimesApril 26, 1977  by Jennifer Dunning is online.

blog by Angeliska shows more photographs of Bodhi painting the murals for 3 Women.  We read on this blog that his mother, Jean Kuklis (also mentioned in the PPG article) would welcome speaking of her son and his art.

I had the good fortune to meet Mrs. Kuklis, her daughter and granddaughter, Monday afternoon and got to photograph some of Bodhi Wind’s artwork.  His mother generously shared his story and creative artwork and I wanted to share it with you.  I had the privilege of seeing pieces he created in high school, too.

She hopes her son’s art could be shown in a large space, a bank, hotel lobby or convention center. Some of the painted panels are big.

Many are painted on wood and  interestingly framed.

Readers who would like more information about the artworks should email Bodhi Wind’s family  Bodhi.Wind.Art(at)gmail.com.

Octagonal

detail from the Octagonal

detail from Octagonal

Grace Jones

Large mural

This is one panel of a series.  Very large.  It needs to be turned right side up.  I left a bit of his sister in the pic on the right so you get the idea of the scale.

Looks like Grace Jones

Bodhi Wind Painting

detail

Mural in Garage