Karla Wozniak, Lil’ Chef, Brighton, MI, 2008, watercolor, graphite, colored pencil, acrylic on paper, 28.5 x 30.25 inches
Having spent two years of my life in New Brunswick New Jersey completing grad school, I consider myself overly knowledgeable on the subject matter of Karla Wozniak‘s paintings. I’m not sure what good it does me — it doesn’t take an expert to be able to identify Wozniak’s depictions of strip malls and suburbia as accurate — though it is hard communicate through a jpeg the skill with which these works are painted. The watercolors have uniquely compelling soiled look to them, not unlike the landscape itself, and a surprising amount of textural variation within her paintings keep the viewer’s attention longer than a tour through these neighborhoods might. Imbued with a charm seemingly so natural I half wonder what I missed during all that time I spent at Rutgers., it is as if Wozniak suggests the humanization of these places occurs merely by use.
Artist’s Biography and Statement
Karla Wozniak is an artist based in Brooklyn, NY. She received her BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2000 and her MFA from the Yale School of Art in 2005.
Karla‘s paintings and drawings depict an American landscape defined by automotive culture and the ramifications of suburban sprawl. Her paintings, inspired by road trips, depict places ranging from beach town strips in Florida to suburbs in New Jersey, to big cities like Los Angeles, where buildings and brand names vie for space alongside the vanishing natural landscape.
Although her work depict standardized spaces, it’s handmade quality highlights localism and an individual’s relationship to landscape. Most recently her work has been on view in a solo show at the Gregory Lind Gallery in San Francisco, CA in 2008.