Born in 1964 in the scenic port town of Vlore, Albania, artist Josef Kote emerged eager to share his unique vision with the world. From an early age, Kote was inspired by the imagery of his hometown of Vlore. A unique mélange of commercial industry and old world charm, the city’s handsome, bright buildings and coastline provided Kote with an abundance of creative material.
At 14, Kote was accepted into the prestigious art school, the National Lyceum of Arts in Tirana, where he studied for four years. His success in an arts competition secured him a spot at the Academy of Fine Arts in Tirana, where he received his Diploma in Painting and Scenography in 1988. The same year, Kote also produced a small but well-received animated film entitled “lisi.”
In 1990, Kote relocated to Greece and began working as a freelance visual artist. Kote absorbed his surroundings; the stark Grecian sunlight and lush Mediterranean landscape infused in his work with greater warmth than ever before. In this new environment, Kote’s style evolved and flourished. Kote's emerging presence in several private and public art collections led to a series of important commissions, including a portrait of former Greek president Konstantinos Stephanopoulos upon his visit to Toronto, Canada.
Since 2009, Kote has lived and painted in New York City.