Get ready for an exciting interview with artist Violet Luczak, as we unveil her latest exhibition, "Give it a Rest."
With an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a thriving career as an assistant professor at McHenry College, Luczak invites you on a journey into the world of relaxation through 13 stunning paintings.
"Give it a Rest" challenges our understanding of relaxation. Each piece reveals hidden tension beneath the surface of calm, prompting us to rethink our own ideas of rest and leisure. These paintings reflect a society often confusing busyness for true relaxation.
For an early peek and more about Violet Luczak's work, email the gallery at email@example.com. Discover the world of relaxation through Luczak's art.
Images by Erin Lyle
Can you share the evolution of your work since completing your MFA at Cranbrook Academy of Art?
Since graduate school, my focus has been developing my eye and attention towards criticism, of both art & life. I’m influenced by design & commercialism and how we complicate our lives, when in actuality, it should be very simple.
In the past few years, I've embraced diverse forms of media, including sculpture, technology, and interactive paintings. My projects range from murals and electronic puppets to expensive paintings that invite viewers to physically interact with the work.
Beyond that, my work has delved into a more personal and vulnerable realm. I've dedicated myself to creating pieces that explore themes in my life and the lives around me and my recent body of work is around the theme of rest, or lack there of.
How do you blend traditional design and painting in your creative work? Can you explain your process?
The central theme of my work involves blending graphic design with traditional painting, which for me, comes together very naturally. My unique skill set in both of these fields has allowed me to create a process for myself that utilizes my design background, while allowing me to have a personal, more intimate, relationship with my paintings.
My process involves a great deal of drawing, which eventually turns into digital vectors. I then transition the vector files into physical vinyl, which provides sharp, crisp lines for the painting process. When I paint, I work in layers, similar to photoshop, although completely physical and hand painted. While the works look computerized, I work tirelessly with sanding and repainting. It is a long, tedious process, but I enjoy using my hands to create something original.
How do your roles as an artist and professor influence each other?
My favorite part of being an art professor is in the more casual moments, where we are just hanging out and making work. While I’m facilitating class & studio time, I too am making work, learning & accepting criticism, which is important for my own growth. Students can be blunt, harsh, funny and oftentimes correct, when it comes to giving advice on my work and I learn just as much from them as they do from me.
The relationship between the two is reciprocal & symbiotic, both helping advance each other. For my practice and life, I need them both and cannot imagine a world where I’m not teaching.
What’s next for you? You have an exhibition at A Very Serious Gallery, right?
The concept for the show is to explore false relaxation. For myself, as a woman, artist and educator, I am constantly on the go and although I love all that I do, it can be draining & exhausting. Juggling the duality of two creative occupations, I often find myself too tired to truly relax and commonly within moments of “false rest”, which you will notice throughout the paintings within this show.
Between screen time in the bathroom & laying on the end of bed half dressed, there are many moments where we feel like we’re relaxing, but we’re just catching our breath, stalling or in a brief pause, pushing off the tasks that are ahead of us.
We live in a world where we are told if we relax, we are being lazy, and that we must be working and hustling, regardless how exhausting that has become. On the flipside, we’re then sold “self-care” as a product and have found ourselves in a place where relaxation is being capitalized as a treat rather than a necessity.
This body of work highlights the essence of false relaxation and allows the viewer to see a little of themselves and create a moment of reflection, and hopefully a stronger dedication to rest.
To people who attend your show “Give it a Rest”, what do you hope they leave with?
In theory, I hope they leave with more questions than they came in with. We are increasingly finding ourselves under a large amount of pressure & unimaginable responsibility, especially women. How do we juggle everything and have time to process and think? How do we create better moments of rest? How can we improve our society, simplify our lives and truly feel comfortable?
I would love it if people left the show with this dialog and took notice of moments of false relaxation within their own lives.