Born and raised in an artistic family in northern Minnesota, Kristian has kept that creativity alive with his many restaurants (Mr. Friendly's, Gervais & Vine, Solstice, Rosso, Bourbon) since moving to Columbia in 1993. His maternal grandfather, Kyzer Butkovich, was an accomplished graphic artist who illustrated field manuals for the Army (and pin-ups for fellow soldiers) throughout WWII. Upon returning, he opened a small print shop, specializing in lithographs and four-color printing, where Kristian grew up drawing, painting, and pushing a broom. "My grandfather never really taught us that much, but he was always incredibly supportive of our artistic endeavors. None of his art supplies were off-limits to us, and paper was everywhere."
Kristian chose his piece because it reminded him of his grandfather's work (which was lost in a devastating fire in 1994). "He did everything! Seriously, from cartoony stuff to caricatures to amazingly accurate sketches to giant canvases to sign painting. There wasn't anything he didn't just nail. Amazing, amazing artist and one of the most compassionate, wonderful men I've ever known." The bold colors and action that seems to jump from the poster are what led him to choose L'Andalousie au Temps des Maures (Andalusia in the Time of the Moors) by Eugéne Samuel Grasset. "It immediately struck me because it looked like something he would have done. It's his style, even though he had many."