Tuesday, May 23, 2006

craig paul nowak

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Anonymous kevin said...

I liked craig's work when chuck close did it.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

I don't really think this is Chuck Close work. yes the grid draws connections but the surface of Craigs work is much more painterly than Close.

5:30 PM  
Anonymous kevin said...

part of my dig was just me wondering why people are hyped about his work. any ideas? seems done to me.

5:52 PM  
Anonymous brian said...

I agree. I am not hyped about his work, and I guess I didn't realize anyone else was. He is a good painter though. I am not sure the grid adds anything to the work though.

7:50 PM  
Blogger craigpaulnowak said...

Hi guys,

I wasn't aware that too many people were hyped about my work either, but it is nice to know.

This painting is actually made up of 192 individual paintings that were intended to seperate and stand alone as individual painting(even though they didn't). What you see as a grid, which I admit is very Chuck Close, is actually just the space in between the individual paintings.

I wanted the viewer to be aware of the parts AND the whole, not just the parts of the whole. When they take a piece of this painting home with them, they would think back to this image, which if everything would have gone as planned, would have only existed in images such as this one.

I'd like to think that my work conveys more than just surface, but how much of the art does the artist actually control once it leaves the studio anyway?

5:36 PM  
Anonymous kevin said...

I heard an MT critic saying he thought it was really good at the student show. I guess that qualifies as hype to me.

7:08 PM  
Anonymous brian said...

I would suggest taking images of the pieces seperated and displayed with the image of them constructed as a whole if this is your intent. Or in person having them displayed without creating the image of you, but a photo of the constructed image of you next to it perhaps. I am always somewhat leary when figurative painters who obviously are good painters, try too hard to be labled as "conceptual" artists in the conventional understanding of the term. Being a smart painter and a talented painter can be enough, and intelligent sensibilities will come across in the work. When I look at your work (I have seen it at BBAC and CCS) I am drawn in by your integrity as a painter. At times I am intrigued in the content and at others I find it some what gimmicky. I do not mean these comments as insults, because again, I think you are a talented painter. In an effort to have your work read as more than surface, realize that form is content, and it is precisely your skills as an image maker that will allow for others to be interested in your content. As A figurative painter and grad of CCS I understand the battle between form and content, but as someone who has been through Graduate school, realize that the term conceptual is rapidly changing and aesthetics no longer have to be less important than content, but rather can serve to support content.

1:51 PM  
Blogger craigpaulnowak said...


Thank you for the suggestions and the praise.

I appreciate the input, mainly because the topic that you're concerned with is my own personal paradox.

My interest in painting (and drawing for that matter) lies in the use of it as a method of translation not just to create illusionist imagery. I paint to translate "cryptic text," which in this case is my "self." I do it because I don't know or understand my "self," because I want to know it and understand it, and I want others to know it and understand it, while simultaneously helping myself to know and understand the actual "self" of other people.

Does this make sense?

I don't intend to provide answers, but at the same time, I don't believe that it is an artists job to provide answers. We are much more apt to provide questions.

I could go on forever, and I still probably wouldn't get anywhere because I have still barely scratched the surface of what I want to focus on as an artist. All I know is that while I am a good painter, I don't feel as though the word defines me. I use paint, and I accept everything that that entails. I also use an idea or concept. I'm not trying to hide one or the other. I use them together.

6:24 PM  
Blogger John Azoni said...

well...on the contrary to what the general consenus is about this piece, I enjoy it. For me, this is one of your stronger pieces because visually it captures my eye from a distance, and I enjoy the writing and more so the fact that the text doesn't define the piece. I agree though with what brian said though that the presentation of this piece could have been thought out a little better. You had things placed in weird spots at the student show, and I wonder why you chose to display this one in a more traditional manner. If I were a collector and saw this piece I wouldn't want to just buy one square because as someone who doesn't see your vision (refering to someone who hasn't talked to you about your work) I want the whole image. It seems counter intuitive to just buy one or several squares when the piece functions as a whole to someone who doesn't know the concept behind the piece. I think it was an interesting point made that some of your work tends to be gimmicky. I am less thrilled about the ones where you are dripping paint to create the image for that reason. Especially the one at CCS that had all the little squares that are dripped on that come together to make a portrait. I feel like that's a little overdone, and immature. What ruins those paintings for me is the actual subject matter. A lot of them seem to be done from pictures you found lying around, and they look very much like snapshots. Which begs the question, are you painting a painting, or a painting of a picture? I think the issue of gimmicks is a definite struggle for every artist though, as I battle it myself. I don't really agree with the chuck close comment because while it seems that you are influenced by close, it's not a direct reference. I am bothered by people that make claims like that because at this point it's almost impossible to be completley original. That goes for music, fashion, art, film, pretty much anything. You could very easily say that my work is played out. That the world doesn't need another De Kooning, or another Joan Mitchell. But I do what I do, and I like what I do, and you should take that same attitude, though I'm sure you do already. But do be aware of not getting too close to other artists. The struggle is to take what they've done and mix it up.

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love the way you give advice john azoni, what would we do without you??

from these comments... "painting a painting, or painting a snap shot" it is clear that you have alot to learn.

to you(john) and the rest of you who throw the word "conceptual" every time you have a hard time placeing a catagory. look it up in a dictionary.


conceptual art refers to a period or movement of art where aesthetics where determined by a concept - where idea preceded form. stopstopstop advising about what you havn't a clue.. learn, read, listen, and continue to comment, but please stop perpetuating misinformation.

and you should really learn more about painting, you need more than a mix up. your far from even a sub-par dekooning rip off.

sorry to be rude, but you need an ego check - maybe the painful but jaring experience that will send you back into student mode.

2:43 AM  
Blogger John Azoni said...

hmm...well that was pretty rude. especially when you contradict yourself in saying that I should continue engaging in conversation while keeping my mouth shut at the same time. personal attacks are completely unconstructive. if you have something against me or my work, here's my email address azoniart@yahoo.com and I would encourage you to direct your ego there.

in saying that I have a big ego, you once again contradicted yourself considering that your statement was the most pretentious thing I've heard in a while.

so once again, if you have constructive critisism about craig's work, this is the place. If you want to bash me, or my work, by all means, email me.

And judging by your comment about my work, I can only assume that you are on the cutting edge of art doing grand things that NOBODY has ever touched or even thought about touching. congrats to you. I look forward to kissing your feet when I come to the realization that you are a true idol who does completley original art, and is completley above the boundaries of art history.

much love.

10:28 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Hello Craig
I am very influenced and inspired by your work. Likewise, I have been recently accepted into CCS with a scholarship. I am unsure where I am going to go next after Washtenaw. There are similarities with you and me. I have been born and raised in Pinckney. My older sister is dating a guy you use to go to school with and would hang out together when you guys were little. Also, I love art as well. I heard about you through a lady who was giving a presentation on an artist for our Art Appreciation class. When she said you were from Brighton, listed your age, and explained you graduated from CCS I thought that there could be hope for my future as well. I congratulate you on your success and overcoming obstacles in your past. Maybe someday we could meet and I could interview you or just get some further inspiration.
God Bless you,
Christina Smith

3:45 PM  

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