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Caitlin Karolczak

Artist Statement:

I was born on the Iron Range in northern Minnesota in 1984, giving me a unique perspective on rural America and economic hardship.  I attended college at the age of 16 in Minneapolis Minnesota, where  I still currently reside. Today I work as an artist and co-gallery owner of a mid-century design & fine art gallery.  I've handled the work of many artists, everything from 15th century engravings to paintings by Ray Parker, Zao Wou Ki & Otto Dix. This has given me a broader understanding of art that has enriched my own. 


My artwork explores a number of themes that are connected to the fragility of the human mind & body. My source imagery often comes from my collection of vintage medical imagery.  These photographs blur the line between artistic portraiture and medical illustration.  In many cases the photographers deliberately and artfully arrange their subjects, at the same time documenting debilitating medical conditions. Sometimes the photographs also raise questions about the photographer's intentions with regard to the sitter's sexuality. My paintings also wrestle with this intersection of beauty and distress. In turn attempting to confront the viewer with a sensation of both the unconventional and human commonality. 


I incorporate painting techniques from many eras, both classical and modern; intertwining meticulously detailed renderings of the found images with abstract backgrounds, collages, and other unfinished representational details. I often use vintage and recycled material, collecting everything from antique textiles and paper, to vials of powdered pigments and oils. The past lives of these materials offer additional texture to my artistic process.

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