The Working Artist
Antoinette Wysocki was never keen on the idea of the starving artist. For her, the term conjures up images of 20-somethings fresh out of art school that spend their days peddling their earnest canvases and eating Raman noodles to survive.
Not so for Wysocki. She knew she wanted to be an artist from a young age, but she also knew she needed to eat. Since she started painting, she’s held a variety of jobs: a buyer for Versace, teacher and wine buyer, to name a few. Her latest business project is PRZman.com, a lifestyle site for men. Each job had the single purpose to “support her art.”
Now her art is speaking for itself. Her vibrant collage-like paintings have garnered international recognition, and next spring she will exhibit her work in Hong Kong and London. She’s also collaborating with Piecco Pang, a handbag designer in Hong Kong. Pang is turning Wysocki’s paintings into limited edition handbags that will be available in the spring of 2012.
At a distance, Wysocki’s pieces are often beautiful, sometimes haunting. Up close is when one begins to notice the details that bring the piece together. Whether it’s the gold chains in “All that Glitters,” or the playfully placed OMFG in “Oh My Fucking God,” each piece forces the viewer to take a second look.
“There’s a strength in her personality and presentation, that gives you a feeling that she’s going somewhere, and she knows where that is,” said Jesse Cohen, who along with Wysocki, created ARTDC.org. “This is a unique quality that makes the world pay attention.”
The materials she uses are just as non-traditional as her artwork. While most artists stick with one medium, Wysocki is known to use acrylic, spray paint, and charcoal in one piece.
“I’m a really big supporter of drawing vs. painting. People always give such heavy weight to a painting and I always wanted to blur those lines,” Wysocki said. “The mixed media aspect is a lot of play and trying to understand if things really bind together or separate.”
Wysocki continued her non-traditional route in 1998 when she began experimenting with paper, instead of the oft-preferred canvas.
“The first serious move onto paper was to play with absorption rates with different materials,” she said. “There was a bit of psychology in play as well around canvas being so permanent and paper easily disposed. I was able to freely play and not feel so constrained.”
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