In the work that I create, I seek to represent the figure as a malleable reflection. The figure is set on paper in much the same way a person is placed into life, with flaws, unpredictable beauties, imprecise edges, and acute definitions. While some of my work is conceptually based, the overall emphasis is in the felt experience. The visions I distill through paint and other media serve as a mirror of life. When painting from a model, a photograph, or an image in my mind, I begin from an internal place of emotional observance, allowing the technical aspects to follow. Using watercolors allows for the blending of form and a process of creating a sequence of layers that evokes ideas of space and time. Meanwhile, the repetition involved in printmaking creates a community of figures, either anonymous or easily recognizable, to show certain commonalities of the human experience. It is little surprise to me that my work has always been predominantly figurative, since I find human beings endlessly fascinating and I express my observations through my work. As a child and young adult I moved around, from New York to Kansas City, then Alabama to Chicago and Texas to Florida. I encountered different skylines, main streets, landforms, and changing seasons, but what fascinated me most was not the settings but rather the people. With such short roots in any particular place my interaction has been characterized by being an observer more often than a participant. At first, the people seemed very different, with different speech patterns, likes and dislikes, and goals in life—but I observed they shared a universal commonality in relation to human passion, suffering, joy, and pain. Likewise, in my work, I lead the viewers and myself into these shared experiences rather than differences. My work encourages the viewer to think about the condition of being human, both as an individual and part of the community.
A Recurrence Observed, Mixed Media on Paper, 2013, 7ft. x 7ft.
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A Recurrence ObservedThis piece is not about Chairman Kim Jong-Un. I’m using this person to demonstrate the concept of Recurrence. When Warhol painted Mao, China was an isolated nation at the early stages of industrialization, a nation that the United States dealt with at a distance and held at odds. Currently we can see a similar state of affairs surrounding North Korea. Though this episode in history is certainly unique to its own circumstances, with far more serious potentialities of destruction, the recurring nature of this experience and our cultural mindset of fear in the United States is our current reality. By recognizing the facets of repetition we can hopefully be more aware of this present time where the stakes have been raised. Only by awareness can habitual reaction perhaps result in conscious action. The ebb and flow of recurring events carries man along the shallow wave of time as an unconscious participant rather than an active doer. Here time is the great illusionist, separating events and making originals out of copies copied many times over. Perhaps this is a condition of Man’s existence, a burden of forgetting and repeating, but if at moments we are able to simply observe such truths, then for a moment we stand outside the carousel, watching the moments and the prints circle round and round, each face and façade unique but in many ways the same. As you look at these prints, you might get the uneasy sense that this has happened, that has happened, and these things will happen again.
TransXpress, Shanghai, China
This man bought a postcard with my work on it and will send it across international borders via mail.
- September- January: Takt Kunstprojektraum, Berlin, Germany. I worked on a project specific to Berlin and participated in open studios through the residency.
- January : Delta Art Center, Masaka, Uganda. I taught art to under privileged children in Uganda, Africa, I also spent time working on my current art project and I traveled the country to experience life there. Awarded a Kickstarter grant for $3000.00 to go to Uganda to complete this project.
- October: Red Gate Gallery, Beijing, China- I participated in the Beijing art scene. I showed my work while there in the studio and gallery.
- 2011 Dec: Kunstraum Tapir, Berlin,Germany- Of Man
- 2010 Aug: Pump Project, Austin,TX, USA- The Family of Man in Watercolor
- 2013 April: Lowe Museum of Art, Miami, FL, Juried Show, Won the Marion Jefferson Award
- 2012 Nov: East Austin Studio Tour, Austin, TX, City wide art tour of studios
- Aug:TransXpress,Beijing, China to Moscow, Russia, A project on the Trans-Siberian Express
- Aug: University of Miami Gallery, Group Show
- 2011 Dec: TamTam Art, Berlin, Germany- 1+1=11
- 2010 July: Pump Project, Austin, TX- The Hot Prints Show
- 2008 May: Pump Project, Austin, TX- Little Gifts show
- March: The Austin Figurative Gallery, Austin, TX
- February: The Austin Figurative Gallery, Austin, TX
- 2007 Sept.-Nov.: Circle Infiniti Art Space, San Antonio, TX, Scene Me
- 2006 July- Dec.: The Root Cellar, San Marcos, TX
- 2005 Aug.- October 2005: Atlanta Artists Center 2005 National Exhibition, Atlanta, Georgia, Second Place Winner
- May- June: PAA 2005 National Juried exhibition, Plano, TX
- May- June: Southeast Regional Juried exhibition, Niceville, Florida
- May: BFA Thesis Show, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
- 2004 Summer: August House Gallery, Chicago, IL- Waterworks
- 2003 July- August: Skopelos Art Foundation, Skopelos, Greece
- 2001 April: Art Bash (SAIC), Chicago, IL
- 2000-2005: Merit Scholarship Recipient (SAIC)
- 2001- June 2005: The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Bachelor of Fine Arts, emphasis in painting and video production.
- Fall 2003: Auburn University- Montgomery, Montgomery, AL, studied business, advertising, and marketing for one semester as a complement to my art skills.
- June 2003: Summer Study trip: Greece, Visited antiquities in Athens, Kalambaka, and Skopelos. Participated in workshops on different methods of printing (oil and watercolor monoprints, etching, etc.)
- August 1999: The Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO.: Summer Program
Work Experience2007- current: Bluebird Design, Austin, TX, Owner www.bluebirdesign.com Create original designs for murals, decorative painting, and faux finishes for residential and commercial spaces. We specialize in restoration as well. My company is also working on a line of high end art wallpaper. We travel all over the U.S. to meet our customer’s needs.
Natalya Kochak 312.933.6626
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