Michael Polakowski “Anywhere & Here” @ Thinkspace Projects

Must read

Thinkspace Projects, Los Angeles // January 07, 2023 – January 28, 2023

Anywhere & Here at Thinkspace Projects presents a series of paintings that depict a shifting cast of protagonists from Detroit based artist Michael Polakowski. Each character is shown grappling with the reality of the here and now, while dreaming of the potential of anywhere. Familiar motifs, such as watermelons and pool halls ground this body of work in the American Midwest, where I was raised and currently work. These images are contrasted with depictions of dunes, Palm trees, and winding roads that infringe upon this familiar space and entice the protagonists with the potential of what lies beyond.

The shows references the narrative structures of absurdist novels, like Franz Kafka’s “The Castle” and Dino Buzzati’s “The Tartar Steppe.” Both novels feature protagonists trapped in their position in life, yearning to either escape a place or achieve acceptance within it. Using both these texts as a jumping off point, the paintings within this show expand upon my life in the Midwest elaborating on how it can be both comforting and insulating. Within the narrative of the show, a shifting set of often unseen protagonists are shown grappling with the idea of a far off and unreachable castle. These lyrically idealized structures are seen as vague objects on a horizon line, acting more as a fixed point of navigation and less as a goal that can be realistically achieved. “Anywhere and Here” is a reference to our own sense of presence. It acts as a response to the question asked by each painting in this series “where can we find clarity in our day to day lives?”

Check out some of our recent short videos:

More articles

Latest article