A selection of recent paintings by Detroit, Michigan-based artist Michael Polakowski. Centered around mental health—how it frames and contextualizes our view of the world—Polakowski’s paintings often feature windows or other visual portals as metaphors for the boundaries between our present lives, and the seemingly far-off idealized world. He elaborates:
“I think of each painting as an opportunity to expand upon an ongoing narrative within my work, a narrative where the protagonist is grappling with finding a sense of self, maintaining presence in their environment, and connecting to the world around them. However, these abstract ideas are usually depicted in scenes like stolen cars abandoned in a river-bed, or harrowing tales of a lone explorer lost in a metaphysical desert. With my work, I am always trying to strike a balance between ‘heaviness’ and ‘lightness.’ That’s why, at first glance, my work is vividly colored and populated with inviting imagery. It’s only through further investigating the connection between the images that the deeper narrative surfaces.”
See more from Michael Polakowski below!