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Words From The Curator, Kyle Butler:
From Krzystek to D'Alfonso to Wagner, there is range in how they employ the figure in their work. On one end, Andy Krzystek uses the figure as a malleable formal component. Arms and legs grow out of shapes and lines. Detail comes and goes within the figure's contours. At times there is a face, but the identity is secondary to compositional whims. Rachel D'Alfonso's work is more intact, her figures more apparent. Still, there is regularly a tactic of obscuring, cropping, brushing away a clear vantage point. When you can see them, they often carrie a disaffected glance. In contrast, Josh Wagner's work is decidedly portraiture. Primarily working from images of the Royal Family, Wagner makes faithful and clear reproductions that reflect his respect and admiration of the subjects.
Looking beyond the figurative tie-ins, there is also a compelling textural variety among their work. Krzystek often starts from a worn object. The linework overtop is sparse, as if being respectful of the surface that came before it. Even when working on a blank page, the linework seems careful not to impose on that clean space. D'Alfonso has a knack for that painterly fussiness often romanticised by fellow painters. Though the images she makes are intact, the materials with which they are made are left mottled and apparent. Combined with subtle alignments in color and tone, these textures and temperatures are important to the distinct atmosphere of her work. Wagner works primarily with colored pencil, doggedly filling in the page with small hatchmarks. His images are simplified into clearly defined areas of color and tone, but that geometry is enlivened by the pencil's activity and by the saturated patterning that often surrounds his figures.
Andy Krzystek Artist Bio and Statement:
Andy Krzystek is an Artist native to the Buffalo/Niagara region. His Paintings are influenced by print and mixed media. With a heavy lean towards mark making, He takes a walk around to understand where he is in space, and his work does the same. Krzystek completed his B.F.A. in printmaking at the University at Buffalo. His work has been shown most recently at The Carnegie Art Center (Patterns and Growth. Group show) Dolce Valvo Art Center (NCCC Alumni show. Group show) Hallwalls (Amid / In. group show), Argus gallery (Wave Motion:Suggests. Solo show) and Georgette gallery (The Independents, group show).
Josh Wagner Artist Bio and Statement:
Josh is very clear about what he likes and dislikes in the visual arts. He enjoys very specific types of imagery, methods, and material choices. Since childhood Josh has drawn minerals, feelings, and weather. Later in life he learned to draw people. He specifically loves Will and Kate and the Royal Family. He keeps large binders of images of the things he loves as reference.
“I have improved my art skills by attending Starlight Studio. Some skills I have improved on are my color layering and learning clay work. Being here has taught me to get out of my comfort zone of emotions”. Josh often likes to say, “the only disability in life is a bad attitude”.
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