Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Learning More About COCA Artist Andrzej M Karwacki

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. Much of his art was more about pain than the serene beauty his current paintings convey. At the end of the 5 year BFA program, Andrzej had developed a strong discipline in the studio that is reflected in his prolific artistic nature today. After receiving his BFA in painting, Andrzej earned a Master's Degree and Honorary Award in the field of Urban Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. 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. 

How do you describe your style?

My artistic direction began to take shape after integrating Eastern spirituality into my artwork. My recent paintings have become Cosmocentric and see 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. While they are often identified as Abstract paintings, I see them less as abstractions but more as connections. Each stroke builds upon the other producing a radiance and warmth of being. The layers of each work suggest a complex inter-connectivity 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. 

See more of Andrzej's work at http://www.andrzejmichael.com/.

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