ABOUT ANDRZEJ MICHAEL 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. 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.
As an artist, I find difficult to answer: is it I who defines painting or is it painting that defines me… Either way, it is both a transpersonal and a narcissistic relationship.
The process of painting creates a state of Liminality, which leads to the discovery of my very essence. It is like writing a fable, one without words and one that is rather suggestive in nature. In that progression, I forget all that I know, for originality can only be achieved by reaching into my own infinite possibilities.
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.
—Andrjez Michael Karwacki
WITH EACH WORK, THERE IS A PUSH AND PULL THAT DEVELOPS IN MY PAINTINGS, ONE COLOR, IMAGE, TEXT, OR TEXTILE AT A TIME.
My work strives to find balance between western and eastern concepts through the duality of the identity of man with the way I perceive the role of man within the cosmos. My paintings extend beyond the individual to intentionally embrace nature as inclusive of man and art. With each work, there is a push and pull that develops in my paintings, one color, image, text, or textile 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.
—Andrzej Michael Karwacki, 2015