Caitlin Karolczak (1984-) was born on Minnesota’s Iron Range. While art education was largely missing from her early education she developed an interest in her father's (a nurse) medical books and a fondness in early Catholic imagery through her religious upbringing. Her invented imagery demonstrates this influence.
Karolczak received a BFA in Fine Arts and a BA in Art History with an emphasis in 19th century medical photography from the University of MN Twin Cities. Subsequently she founded her studio in NE Minneapolis where she first began to paint in oils. Through repeated experimentation and personal study she has become self-taught in different classical painting techniques.
In addition to painting Karolczak pursues installation, sculpture, and performance art often incorporating objects of biology and antiquity from her personal collection.
Besides working as a professional artist Karolczak is co-gallery owner of Spinario Design, a mid-century design and fine art gallery. There she has handled original artworks as diverse as 15th century engravings to paintings by Ray Parker, Zao Wou Ki, and Otto Dix. Her exposure to this unpredictable array of works has given her a broader understanding of art that enriches her own.
Karolczak has exhibited internationally in Bogotá, Minneapolis, NYC, Vancouver, Miami and more. Her work is in numerous collections across the US, Australia, South America, UK, Canada, Israel & South Africa. She has been interviewed by art publications in Australia, South America, Croatia, & the USA. In addition to her Minneapolis studio she also works out of a Bushwick space in Brooklyn for several weeks out of the year.
My paintings intertwine the past with the present through the combination of classical painting techniques & provocative contemporary themes. The figures I create inhabit the space around them, not through action but a strange sense of presence they possess. By means of a sometimes-perverse frame of reference they seek to have familiarity with the viewer. My interest in anatomy & experimentation can be seen in distinct portraits that are offset by a communication established by way of painted eyes that the viewer cannot discount or deny.
Identifying as both artist & collector, objects have always been in parallel to my creative vision. A tactile obsession with antiquity is reflected in my use of age-old pigments & papers. In conjunction to this re-use I draw inspiration from my cabinet of curiosities – anything from biological samples to early photography.