Andrzej M Karwacki
My artistic direction began to take shape after integrating Eastern spirituality into my artwork. My recent paintings have become Cosmo- centric seeing man and art as an integral part of nature. These concepts are based on Buddhist philosophy and works, with an intention of equanimity that is neither a thought nor an emotion. In Buddhism, equanimity (upekkhā, upekṣhā) is one of the four immeasurables and is considered the steady conscious realization of reality's transience. While some may think of equanimity as dry neutrality or cool aloofness, mature equanimity produces a radiance and warmth of being. There is a push and pull that develops in my paintings, one color at a time. Each step is an inspiration for the next. My composition develops freely allowing my paintings to form from the depths of the creative process. The essence of each work carries its own unique direction. The layers of each work suggest a complex interconnectivity of man’s own marking with nature. With this approach, a unique network of color and organic lines develop a contemporary language defining the nature of man’s own being. In my current series of paintings, I have literally reconstructed my paintings to embrace the underlying order and harmonic balance that supports the organic and at times chaotic nature of life. The style is created by the application of paint with a palette knife to thin wooden boards, which are consequently cut up into strips and collaged together in a different order thereby creating more graffiti like painting landscape, reading the composition like a book that can be read repeatedly with new nuances coming to the fore each time. The resulting work presents a complex array of painting techniques, treatments, and color, in a rhythmic stripe pattern. The work itself is presented on 2-inch deep panels, which gives them an architectural and sculptural presence on the wall. To accentuate richness of color and surface, each work is covered with several coats of resin and in so doing, creates a vibrant and luminescent finish. In the Chronicle Series, the process includes additional step of including strips of collages made from various newspapers and magazines to bring fragments of imagers and text into composition. The collage also serves to ground the work in time and place, with references to San Francisco, New York, Art, Design, and the Bay Area’s contemporary lifestyle. These works are unique in that they successfully bring two very different artistic styles, Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art, into one cohesive composition.
Born in Poland, in the historic town of Brzeg, Andrzej grew up during the years of political oppression and era of communist Poland. There he attended the School for the Arts and Literature. Unconsciously, these primary years were the platform for a deep attraction towards peace, poetry and art as a form of creative preservation. In 1984, Andrzej moved to New York and continued his education at the School for the Arts at Jersey City State University. While he was earning his a BFA in painting, Andrzej had the opportunity to explore everything from sculpture to printmaking, drawings to graphic art. These years were pivotal processing years. At the end of the 5-year BFA program, Andrzej earned a Master's Degree and Honorary Award in Urban and Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania in the field of Urban Architecture in 1994. Architectural design taught him to observe and imitate nature through new media. The rigorous nature of the field transformed Andrzej’s creative approach away from objectifying the world and towards autonomy through painting. After relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1994, Andrzej's artistic direction began to take shape after integrating Eastern spirituality into his artwork. For him, Eastern Spirituality and forms of Zen, mediation and Buddhism was closer to seeing world as beautiful rather than violent as he has in his early years. Andrzej's artistic philosophy led him to resume his academic work at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco where, in 2011, he received a Masters in Integral Psychology and a certification in Expressive Art Therapy. While Andrzej’s current studio is based in Berkeley, his paintings are currently exhibited Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, Dallas, New York, Boston, Paris, London and Hong Kong. His work is in private collections throughout the United States.