Joe Karlovec

Artist Statement
I'm interested in the consciousness of the materials I use and finding ways to pull meaning out of their innate imperfections. In my studio research, I explore concepts of phenomenology, solipsism, and existential objects. Surface, substrate, and context frame the psyche of each object, developed through carefully constructed systems of visual abstraction. Each painting holds tension between dense physical surfaces and smooth graphic imagery to provide meaning in the work. Spatial volumes and pictorial intensities both develop and dissolve the visual field. Sculptural forms emerge through impromptu manipulation of materials like wood, fabric, foam, plastic, tape, even old clothing. The more history an object has, through cuts, tears, stains, distress, use, and overuse, the more compelling I find it to be. Irregular forms of accumulated, discarded materials reveal empathy for the humanness of their own existence, illuminating the precarious nature of the objects themselves.