L u k e   R o c k w e l l   T r o m i c z a k

Statement: In my paintings and drawings, moments of violent acts are placed within common, brooding settings. Familiar pastoral and domestic scenes are undermined by eruptions of human brutality and skewed perspective. Narrative is employed to invite the viewer to participate without the satisfaction of an immediate rational explanation. Seeking to exploit the deviant possibilities within the normative structures of domestic and public space, the large paintings and drawings play with the framework of traditional figurative painting and cinema while refraining from offering clear moral delineations.    

       My influence is gleaned from myriad moments in art history; drawings like Balder’s Dream reference Courbet’s Stone Breakers, but find equal resonance in the images of Dorothea Lange and the films of Eisenstein. Wahkon Minnesota finds its pictorial language in N.C. Wyeth’s illustration of Treasure Island and Goya’s, Bárbaros!, from the disaster of war series. Similar to how the conventions of theatre influenced paintings, like David’s, Oath of the Horatti, my painting, the Depth of Kindness and the Best of Intentions, draws its Mise-en-scène, perspective, and violent Mello-drama from Douglas Sirk, and Martin Scorsese, acknowledging the role of cinema in our reading of images today.   

       In my latest body of work I have revisited moments in my life to satisfy my interest in these personal events, while inviting the viewer to impart their own interpretation of the scenario. Working with the figure in a representational manner I seek to facilitate a communicative and populist readability with the work.  Through providing the familiarity of domesticity to the setting as a vehicle to explore raw emotions and drives, I urge the viewer to experience a visceral reaction to the work.  Viewing the body of work a larger narrative is implicated through repetition of characters and settings providing a tangible environment but denying elucidation.

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