Craig Paul Nowak



Short Artist Statement:

I make art about humanity - about human beings and the relationship between their physical appearance, their inner selves, and the world around them. The means by which I express these ideas varies from one artwork to the next, often appearing inconsistent, but the overall intent remains the same; I make art that expresses some facet of human life on Earth.

The Long-Winded Ideation:

My primary interest as an artist is humanity, and while my vision was once limited to self portraiture, I've since broadened that narrow tunnel into an expansive horizon from which I have struggled to return. From which I DO wish to return eventually, at some point, if only briefly or minutely, ultimately, in order to be understood by my audience.

Alas, as an artist observing the outside, looking in, and subsequently, though separately, from the inside looking out, or even as a spectator observing all that occurs within or around me, for instance, I've realized that there is no straight path to a succinct explanation and/or exploration into humanity.  We are inexplicable simple beings with a vast ever-growing well of potential at our disposal.


My art, whether it be 2D painting, 3D sculpture, 4D video, a mix of these elements, or something else altogether - which is at times, likely, though not likely to ever be seen; acts as a simple illusory piece of documentation. And just as every work of art must first pass through a creator conduit, my art must also pass through me. It must undergo the deplorable task of traversing my landmine infested subconscious in order to eventually emerge - if I let it - unscathed OR, if scathed, repaired and concluded anew.

So, if I am being honest with myself during this process, then what comes out is not merely documentation such as a photograph might be - though it is almost always produced with the help of a source material - it is in fact, an interpretation. It is a shattered reflection, exploded-view visual often representing a human being. If at any point, it does not appear to be a human being; if it is a landscape, for instance, then it still represents a human being, or at the very least, some aspect of a human being. We are more than mere reflections.

My early work delved into what I called "the self/self relationship", which was a narrow-viewed exploration into painted juxtapositions of physical people (often myself) and their non-physical attributes (i.e. thoughts, memories, emotions, histories, feelings, and so on).

My newer work was a waged rebellion on that narrow viewpoint resulting in an attempt to subconsciously create, meaning that while I was present, I was only present as a conduit. And as my interests flowed, I remained passive. I deliberately stepped out of the way, allowing myself to combine seemingly unrelated imagery, techniques, and materials within a singular picture plane. This was important to me, because I wanted to see if I could pull parts of myself from within myself that suspect I had buried, hidden, or forgotten, and I believe I did just that. There is rhyme and reason within these paintings. There is narrative. So even though these paintings do not portray my physical self, I still believe that they were reflections, though skewed, of the self/self relationship. 


 © All images copyright protected - Craig Paul Nowak