FROM THE ARTLAND – ARTIST MARK KULAGA

Hi Everyone!

It’s December 1, where has the year gone?!

We are kicking off the month of December with another “FROM THE ARTLAND” fabulous artist interview!

TODAY’S FEATURED ARTIST:

MARK KULAGA

©Mark Kulaga

©Mark Kulaga

1. Please tell us, where are you from?
I am from Chicago, IL but relocated to Lakewood Ranch, FL to take care of my parents. My mother was diagnosed with stage 4
Uterine Cancer, and I left my position at Apple, Inc. at the time. A year after my mother passed, my father was diagnosed with
terminal cancer this time.
2.When did you decide to become an artist?
I don’t think I decided to become an artist, I think it was something that came naturally to me at a very young age. I used art to escape from my other life as an extravert. It kept me grounded, and helped me to cope with, shall I say less than stellar home life. My parents supported me in my extracurricular (sports activities) and introverted life in my art. It was my abusive sister that helped me find a peaceful place in my art.

Scissor Wings ©Mark Kulaga

Scissor Wings ©Mark Kulaga

3. What is your medium, andWhat subjects do you specialize in (animals,
botanical art, portraits, etc)?
My art has always been abstract in nature, almost meditative forms, and then I branched out into graphic design, and photography for years. Making art for others to profit from. During my journey in Florida, I rediscovered the art within me. It is a direct relation to my experience spending time with my father at the VA Hospital, and our time together I take what I find in the world that crosses my path in the way of
discarded and to many what would seem useless objects. A broken wing of a bird, a piece of broken glass, plastic, scissors, a knife, a padlock etc. and then I breath new life into it, taking on the shapes of hearts, wings, and other abstract objects. What strikes me most about my art is the fact that other figures seem to appear in them.
4. Are you drawn to certain colors more than others? If so, has that color changed or does it change in your art? (Do you find trends in different colors when your mood changes?)
One part of my art that fascinates me, is how important outside influences such as my surroundings, feelings at the time, and people I am with affect the outcome of each piece. At one time, I put my art down because I was in such a dark place for a short time and I wanted to allow some time to pass before taking some of my collected object’ art to continue working.

5.What inspires you?
Music, People (i.e., P!nk was an inspiration for a piece) I was creating while watching her life story on television. I found it even surprised me, as I did not intend it to be anything related to what I was watching at the time. After the show, I completed a final rendering, and it actually made sense to me.

6. Are you self-taught?
I am self-taught in many ways, but have some formal training I received while studying at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I already had advanced skills in the underpinnings of photography by far more than most people at a very young age. I had my own darkroom at age 14.

Unlock my Heart ©Mark Kulaga

Unlock My Heart ©Mark Kulaga

7.What artist do you think you emulate the most, has had the most effect
on you? (and why?)
I really think I have been influenced more by philosophers, and people that have come and gone in my life than other artists.

Like most people, I find the stories behind some of the greatest artist more interesting than the art they created. I often joke about the conversation that might occur if I could have been to  dinner with all of them together. Plato, Aristotle, Da Vinci, and Michelangelo. It strikes me as the perfect storm at one table. (smiles)
8. Do you take art workshops? What medium would you like to try?
I’ve never taken a workshop before, but I would love to work with spray paint sometime. An all time favorite is Banksy, and I have a few friends who are into Graffiti.

9.Where can we find your artwork?
At the moment I have only produced one of my pieces as it is a bit expensive for me to produce it in the scale it has been created for. I had to scale it down from 72” x 72” to something I could handle. I settled for 52” x 52” on Canvas for “Scissor Wings” one of my favorites.

http://www.koogz.net/

https://www.facebook.com/artofkoogz

10. What was the first thing you drew or painted?
One of my first pieces was done in charcoal on newsprint. I named her “Freedom” it was what afforded me a scholarship to The Art Institute of Chicago.

Night Wings ©Mark Kulaga

Night Wings ©Mark Kulaga

11.What advice do you have for other artists or people who want to get started selling their work?
I have yet to sell one of my pieces, but I would tell anyone whom truly loves art, to never stop creating. If you love what you are doing, then listen to the voice inside and that feeling you have while creating. It is a private love affair with yourself and your art.

12.What really big thing has happened in your artistic journey?
I’m not sure I understand this question. If you mean, was there an epiphany at some time? If this is the case, then yes! A short time after I began my journey with my father, I began to see hearts. Everywhere. In the sky, and in unusual places. Some said, I see patterns and that is why, but I disagree. Even though I have a keen sense of patterns, these phenomenon are happening in the most unusual ways.
I spilled some water on my arm, and it was a heart, burned my hand once, and it was also in the shape of a heart. There are too many instances that have happened for this to be coincidental or pattern identification to be a factor here. I also had been driving to work one day, and I decided to take a shot out of my window without looking. The image to me is clear, and I have others. I am not overtly religious. Some would say, I’m kind of antireligious religiously. Does that make sense? I challenge everything. Some of my best friends are atheists, and I love their
outlook on life.

13. Do you think the the daily painting movement has had a positive or negative affect on the art world? Is the market saturated?
I’m not sure. Most of that work is small in scale, and I find a certain beauty in small scale paintings. I don’t think this will have a negative affect on the art world, just like clothing fads, don’t really have negative affects on fashion.

Pink Heart ©Mark Kulaga

Pink Heart ©Mark Kulaga

14. Has the daily painting movement affected the way you work?
My work, although 100 percent digital, is never rushed, and has no relationship to the Daily Painting Movement. I used to work in a factory, fabricating, and producing fasteners. It seems almost as if it could be similar on one hand, but on the other, there is a beautiful nature in repetitive and consistent movement. Some compare it to working in a factory, but I don’t really hold that negative view on it, nor have I really formed a complete opinion either.

15.What artist do you think you emulate the most, has had the most effect on you? (and why?)
I am open to suggestions, because I don’t openly emulate anyone. My art is specific, and my own. It is original in every way except the object of which it is derived. The essence of each is retained as much as possible, though it may not be apparent at first to viewers. There is a story behind each of my pieces that give it a personality and life all it’s own. I could talk for hours about each of them. Where I was, what I was feeling, and how the outcome of each fulfills a special captured moment in time.

16. Do you think the standard of art has dropped since the daily painting movement started?
Art has a standard? I honestly don’t believe there is an art form that is not absolutely beautiful to me. Again, I am not an artist that fancies mimicry, but I do appreciate the skills. Creating something from nothing is far more difficult to some that copying what is already there. I don’t mean any disrespect to portrait painters, sculptors, because I have seen pieces that move me to tears when I see the shear awe inspiring scale of
some works done by hand. There is a quality that a photograph, or even being at that place where the image was derived from that can impact one as much as the touch of a master hand putting an image on canvas from memory.

17. Do you think art can still affect politics and people, changing the way they think?
Art throughout history represents the vision and experiences at that specific point in time. It emulates, antagonizes, pontificates, and postulates.
It is an integral part of a society and is more important than every to hold the feet of those that would seek power over others
to the fire of truth, and absurdity.
18. Do you think art can still influence people as much as in the past, when there are more artists than ever and posting on the internet?
Yes! That is like saying, so you think ice cream less delicious today because there are more flavors today than there were years ago.
Variety gives life more variety, but I can see the other side to this argument as well. I’m looking for that new original flavor, that has yet to be discovered and I am loving the journey…

Devil's Heart ©Mark Kulaga

Devil’s Heart ©Mark Kulaga

19. Do you think there will be another art revolution like artists in the Renaissance, and Picasso, and Monet, and Warhol?
That is the question, and the dream. I think it may come in the form of Graffiti, and Street Art. Emphasis today is lessoned on the arts than in the past. We are all so engrossed with technology, and less with the message we can use it to deliver. Children are being told by parents and teachers to concentrate more on what will make them successful financially, and not art.  It isn’t wrong on one hand, but on the other, why is it that artists are not considered as important as a Doctor, Lawyer, etc.?

When a plumber can command more of a salary and income than a gifted artist, this reflects too much on society. It really chafes me to see television shows like Honey BooBoo, Ice Road Truckers, New Jersey (etc.) Housewives, and so on just raking in money and viewers and as such influencing behaviors and attitudes catering to the lowest common denominator. To me this says, “Hey kid, don’t worry about bettering yourself in the way of education, and being a thoughtful person” As long as you can be stupid and cash in, who cares?
20. What piece of art had an emotional effect on you? (Made you angry, happy, sad)
I am moved by pieces on a daily basis. I know so many talented  artists that speak to my soul. Again though, musical artists move me emotionally more than any. The mixture of words and melody tug at my heart strings, and I feel a variety of emotions. Great art like music also affects me because there is a symphony of color, or movements within each piece that draws me inside. One of my all time favorites is
“Guernica” by Pablo Picasso.

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Cindy’s Remarks:

Mark I truly agree… people are happy with MINDLESSLY watching the television… GET OFF THE COUCH, GO OUT AND INHALE SOME ART! Art and artists are important to society, just as other professions. Art is healing and good for the soul.

Thank you very much for the interview, it has made me think and I whole-heartedly agree 🙂

You can find Mark Kulaga’s art here:

http://www.koogz.net/

https://www.facebook.com/artofkoogz

I am also adding a video of Mark Kulaga’s art:  “Of Hearts and Wings” The Art of Creation

Click here for Mark Kulaga’s YouTube Channel.

 

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If you are an artist and would like to be interviewed to give your art exposure and “get your art out there”, please go to this page and email me your answers. The email address is on the page.  

PLEASE if you are an artist, I would love to hear from you and include you in an interview, sharing your art with others. Please click on the above link and email me your answers. I will include your artwork as well. PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU INCLUDE 4-5 IMAGES OF YOUR WORK AND WHERE WE CAN FIND THEM so I can include your artwork.

Thank you for visiting I appreciate you all!

Cindy

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