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Arts in Milwaukee

A Public Service Of Milwaukee Artist Resource Network

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  • “Primary Spectrum”Primary Spectrum

    Acrylic, paper, ribbon, screenprint, and zerox transfer on wood 16'' x 24'' 2012

John Kowalczyk

  • Art
I am an Art Professional

artist bio

Born in Chicago, IL in 1988, Kowalczyk lives and works in Milwaukee, WI. Before moving to Milwaukee John was the winter artist in resident with the Around the Coyote gallery in Chicago in 2006. After receiving his BFA in painting from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 2010, Kowalczyk began his residency with RedLine Milwaukee. He has recently held solo exhibitions at Jackpot Gallery (2011), Borg Ward Collective in Milwaukee (2011), and American Fantasy Classics(2012). John's work has also been shown at the Harley Davidson Museum and the Charles Allis Art Museum in Milwaukee, and The Sienna Art Institute in Sienna Italy. His work is comprised of mixed media paintings that incorporate vintage fabrics, thrift store treasures, glitter, and gold. Inspired by Folk art to Op and Pop art, his canvases are saturated and enchanted; taking on an almost shrine-like and sacred attitude. The separate elements of his collaged paintings truly transcend themselves to become more than the sum of their parts, they become a whole and Kowalczyk senses something spiritual in this.

artist statement

An over stimulated shiny stew of pattern, color, texture, myth, politics, tradition, religion, power and a little glitter arranged ritualistically and without a doubt by my hand. The work takes itself lightly in material and aesthetic with its flamboyant color and pageantry, but is sophisticated in that it is rendered in a style somewhere between folk art and fine art with an attitude of highbrow kitsch. Decadent stage-like settings are cast with homemade mythologies. The narrative comes complete with odd humanoid figurations, cryptic symbols, and psychedelic journeys juxtaposed with abstract patterning and geometric rigor. My work is an energetic orchestration of thought that collides with color and takes the shape of lifetime's worth of lexicons, rational or abstract, to become a physical extension of my gratitude for and joy of creation.