Menu
The New Contemporary Art Magazine

Michelle Avery Konczyk’s Watercolor Portraits Have a Dark Side

Michelle Avery Konczyk's beautifully strange portraits of young women with ghostly appearances and third eyes are a far cry from the cheerful, impressionistic paintings we commonly associate with the watercolor medium. "It is my goal," the artist says, "to push the boundaries of the medium and take it where no artist has gone before, not only in technique and subject matter, but in presentation." Moving between the realms of both realism and surrealism, Konczyk's work is layered with imagery that juxtaposes love and beauty with darkness and morbidity as a means to explore "the beauty that lies within our ugly realities."


Michelle Avery Konczyk‘s beautifully strange portraits of young women with ghostly appearances and third eyes are a far cry from the cheerful, impressionistic paintings we commonly associate with the watercolor medium. “It is my goal,” the artist says, “to push the boundaries of the medium and take it where no artist has gone before, not only in technique and subject matter, but in presentation.” Moving between the realms of both realism and surrealism, Konczyk’s work is layered with imagery that juxtaposes love and beauty with darkness and morbidity as a means to explore “the beauty that lies within our ugly realities.”



Konczyk’s female figures are alluring in their youthfulness, yet their pale skin and stoic expressions suggest a certain lifelessness to them. They are often accompanied by the red rose promising eternal love and beauty, which at times is interjected with ominous visions of black crows. Eyes are also a common motif in Konczyk’s work, the presence of which not only lends to the surreal atmosphere of her paintings but also emphasizes the central theme of perception beyond ordinary sight. Continuously, Konczyk challenges us to question the role our own perceptions play in defining reality. “The only thing apparent and true,” she offers, “is there cannot be light without darkness, and there cannot be beauty without ugliness.”



Hailing from the small town of Nazareth, Pennsylvania, Konczyk has recently been featured in Growth / Decay: A Dual City Group Show, an exhibition co-curated by Paradigm Gallery in Philadelphia and Antler Gallery in Portland. The artist is also experimenting with the ways in which she presents her artwork, and has taken to mounting her watercolors onto pieces of wood, which “breaks the traditional shape along with inviting the viewer into the piece.” View more of Konczyk’s work and learn about her artistic process on her Instagram.

Meta
Share
Facebook
Reddit
Pinterest
Email
Related Articles
In painter-cartoonist Guy Colwell’s new show at La Luz de Jesus Gallery, there’s a particular focus on complex relationships between humans and animals. “The Wayward Ape,” running April 5-28, tracks how our evolution has gone beyond nature’s intentions. The resulting explorations look at both violence and ignorance. Colwell was last featured on HiFructose.com here.
The figurative works of Paul Reid revive the world of ancient Greek mythology, yet render new scenes through the artist's contemporary vantage point. Though Reid's education and understanding of form owes much to the masters of yesterday, his own cinematic style comes through in each of these scenes, feeling at once elegant and casual.
Taking influence from Byzantine art and other eras of religious art, Aleksandar Todorovic renders contemporary tech figures as religious icons and social media symbols as sacred, in egg tempera and acrylic. Elsewhere, his painted and sculpture works look at consumerism and contemporary global politics. He recently displayed this works under the title “Religion Remastered.”
Rather than drawing a line to separate his personal and commercial work, LA-based artist Wayne White (featured in HF Vol. 19) brings the two full circle with his latest exhibition, "Invisible Ruler," at NYC's Joshua Liner Gallery. White has extensive credits as a set designer, puppeteer and director (he won multiple Emmys for his work on Pee-wee's Playhouse), and his puppetry informs his oeuvre in both two and three-dimensional media. The title of the exhibition, according to the artist, alludes to the ways previous creative pursuits impact artists for the rest of their careers. Techniques learned in one medium come through in others in unexpected ways.

Subscribe to the Hi-Fructose Mailing List