Friday, December 3, 2010

Artist Profile: Geoff Krawczyk

Geoff Krawczyk, Barzakh, Mixed Media on Canvas, 51.5x72"

Geoff Krawczyk
3001 Paseo
Oklahoma City
Opening Friday, Dec. 3rd, 6-10 pm, runs through January

Q: What can you tell me about your upcoming show December 3rd at AKA gallery?
GK: This will be my first exhibition since moving back to OKC so I'm pretty excited. It will be an extension of my Master's Thesis work in Buffalo NY this past Spring. The work is all about the overlap of religion, mythology and conflict. I see interesting parallels between images of the contemporary battlefield, with all its horror, and the allegorical stories that underpin our various faiths. To me, the lessons we draw from religion and myth can also be drawn from current events.

Q: What do you do when you aren't painting?
GK: Well, I'm going to be teaching at SWOSU and OCCC in the Spring, so I expect to be pretty busy with that. I also do some graphic design on the side. Between those three things, I expect I won't have time for much else! Of course, I always make time for The Simpsons...
Geoff Krawczyk, Potlatch, Mixed Media on Canvas, 55x59.5"
Q: Have you always known you were an artist?
GK: Pretty much. My dad is a freelance graphic artist so I grew up surrounded by art. I have been drawing since I can remember. I was lucky to be encouraged and supported by my friends and family throughout my career. Being an artist is not something I recommend for everyone; you have to really believe in what you do. It's not always easy but it is fulfilling.
Geoff Krawczyk, The Secret of Hermes (Diptych), Mixed Media on Canvas, 38x56"
Q: What inspired you to create the painting titled, The Secret of Hermes?
GK: Hermes is the messenger of the Gods in Greek mythology, as well as a guide for newly deceased spirits through the underworld. He also figures heavily in Egyptian tradition regarding the afterlife.  His name also gives us the term "hermeneutics" which is the study of interpretation. I have a great interest in death and it's place in our culture. The painting is based on the phrase "As Above, So Below" included in The Emerald Tablet, an important mythological concept in Hermetism and the occult. It describes the inseparability of god and the universe, the mortal and immortal. To me, death is not an end, but part of a cycle that includes life also. One cannot exist without the other. For a long time, I used the image of the wrapped body as a icon of this concept and that painting, with its mirrored dichotomy, is my interpretation of the balance between life and death. That is the secret of Hermes, the ability to exist within both worlds? More importantly, what does the painting mean to you?

Q: How did you get involved with the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition?
GK: I think all artists from Oklahoma have had at least some contact with OVAC because it's such an integral part of the arts here. I was always including work in Momentum. It's such an exciting and needed event. Many young artists won't ever get the opportunity to have work in such a well-received and well-attended show when they're starting out in their careers. I was also a volunteer and that was a lot of fun, though a lot of work! OVAC has grown so much just in the time I've been making art. It's really amazing.

Read more about Geoff on his website. Also, his artwork will be featured in Mainsite Contemporary’s Emergent Artists exhibition December 10-February 5. 

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