Roatan’s Beauty, Truth & Wisdom

Austrian Artist Soaked in Utila’s Beauty Through and Through

Gunther Kordovsky finds the driftwood he uses as base for his art on the beaches of Utila. “Best for finding driftwood is Big Bight and Indian Cove,” says Gunther, who crisscrosses the island on his beat-up mountain bike with a metal basket and a mounted sign: “Gunther’s Gallery.”

Gunther has been Utila’s staple since the country was a dictatorship in 1970s. His life is a piece of art itself. It is a collage of life experiences from the time when he was skiing for the Austrian downhill ski team, and when he searched for treasure on Utila with underwater treasure divers. Utila of the 1970s was unspoiled, relaxed, and full of mystery. While the crew didn’t find any treasure, Gunther found that the island itself could be his treasure.

Half a century later Gunther is still full of energy, grit, and humor. Gunther is soaked by the Utila spirit through and through. Barracudas, sharks, and angelfish are what inspire his art. On his wooden pieces Gunther chisels the fish’s scales, eyes, and texture. He uses a poly-acrylic casting resin to give the wood a shiny finish. “I want to imitate the beauty of the underwater scenes. Painting has always been my passion. It is the closest thing I can do to simulate the underwater beauty,” said Gunther.

What is imaginary to most, is an integral part of Gunther’s life.

Another canvas Gunther uses for his art are conch shells that he paints on with nautical themes and mounts on a piece of wood. He loves maps and cartography. He carves out wood to resemble the shape of Utila and then he pours resin inside the openings.

Gunther gets some of his inspiration on his deep SCUBA divers along the island’s north side. And Gunther’s deep, is indeed deep. “You race down full speed with minimum breathing,” Gunther says about his deep dives. What is imaginary to most, is an integral part of Gunther’s life. The Duppy waters dive site on Utila’s north side is one of his preferred dive record setting places. He has been to 127 meters in his SCUBA gear and then spent “plenty of time” decompressing.

Gunther Kordovsky’s art is part of the permanent exhibition and store at the Co-op artist gallery in Sandy Bay, Utila. The gallery was established in 2017 and now exhibits art from 15 members.