Briefly describe the work that you do.
I work with found materials combining them with new graphics through printmaking, collage and sculpture. My work blends an interest of material manipulation and organized by significant dates, numbers, such as my height, age, distance, and my living space locations. They are influenced by architectural elements and repetitive imagery coupled with context as an autobiographical content. The juxtaposition of graphics and found materials gives them a new life. In a way, they are abstracted reflections of my own existence, which is an assemblage of ongoing experiences. My ultimate intention is to explore ready-made objects and materials while combining them with new graphics, found materials and layers through printmaking.
At what point in your life did you decide to become an artist?
Becoming an artist was a slow process for me. At first, I chose a practical field pursuing a business degree, but along the way I’ve met artists and art faculty at Harper College that have awaken my artistic curiosity. I decided to purse art in my late 20’s.
Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.
I’m a native of Ruda Slaska, Poland. My parents decided to immigrate to America to purse better life opportunities. My upbringing and the experience living with different cultures have a profound impact on my life and art practice. I’m very nostalgic about my hometown and the meaning of home. I arrived to Chicago with one suitcase leaving behind my family, friends, favorite belongings, and two parrots. Though I have lived here for 21 years I often feel as a visitor.
Visual historic artifacts depicting from my past, and present influence my works. They correspond to layers of experiences, memories layered with personal metaphors. The idea of using everyday discarded materials is what inspires the work or compositions. Each piece is unique and irreplaceable. All found materials are carefully selected and recombined to create a new form and point of view. Discarded materials especially capture my attention when they are aged, and looking worthless. The textures, shapes, and faded colors often bring out the connection I have from the present or past surrounding environments. These visual connections with materials are combined to various final forms from found materials that influence the final form tosolely recognize the value of their visual aspects, and context of each piece through their new configurations. The artwork’s context, texture, and imagery transform the materials into a new existence.
What types of conceptual concerns are present in your work? How do those relate to the specific process(es) or media you use?
I am still trying to figure out and be conscious of the development of simplicity while combining the ideas with traditional processes and not over using them. My intuition manipulates the found materials to sustain the original idea. I often struggle and fall into the work that primarily satisfy the look of final form but the idea becomes distant. In my practice and usage of various processes such as, collage, printmaking techniques, photography, and sculpture bring out the beauty in physicality of found object/paper that once used to have a purpose or function. While using found materials there is no second attempt in making second piece. The materials are very unique and have limited quantity. A lot of thought, movement and placement is involved as if you are putting together a puzzle with parts that do not fit. At the end the discarded materials transform into new existence. The physical materials, visual connection, and history of the materials are important concepts of my work.
We once heard Chuck Close say he did not believe in being inspired, rather in working hard everyday. What motivates you in your studio practice?
I believe in working hard, working while being inspired and being open minded. Working hard everyday is a very good motto. It also takes a lot of discipline to stay on top of your work load while dealing with daily life responsibilities. I tend to work better under pressure but I don’t prefer it that way. I am still learning how to utilize my studio time/space efficiently. What motivates me? Due dates, inner need of making/discovering new forms.
What artists living or non-living influence your work?
Krzysia Frankowska, Jacek Joostberens, Andrzej Pietsch, Dorothea Rockburne, John Cage, Martin Puryear, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Bradford, Frank Stella, Laszlo-Moholy Nagy, Robert Motherwell, Richard Serra to name a few.
When you are not making art what types of activities and interests do you engage in?
I like to travel, read, drooling over articles on prefabricated home design or anything doubts with architecture, taking pictures of street, sidewalks, parking lots, visiting other artists, going to gallery openings, seeing art exhibits at MCA, Art Institute in Chicago the Modern Wing, Cultural Art Center in Chicago, bike riding, horseback riding, listening to Pandora radio and watching documentaries.
Kasia Stachowiak is an artist working and living in Chicago suburbs. She holds a Bachelor degree of Fine Art with emphasis in print media. Her work incorporates variety printmaking techniques combined with found materials, collage and sculpture. Her ultimate intention is to explore ready-made objects and materials while combining them with new graphics and layers through printmaking. She appreciates each material and object source, as does the Japanese aesthetic concept of Wabi-sabi.
Kasia has shown both locally and nationally, at galleries and art centers in, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Colorado. Her work is held in a number of private collections and at Harper College Art Collection in Palatine, Illinois.
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.