Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Frank Kwiatkowski (#1): Cuts Like A Knife.

Frank Kwiatkowski holding one of his cone cut prints (now part of Gregory Ego's privately-held collection of Kwiatkowski artwork).

With oft-present syringe in practically every one of his visionary, dystopian etchings, Frank Kwiatkowski is an indefatigable diabetic if there ever was one, going all out to literally and figuratively illustrate how a wrecked health care system has left him a wreck. He's a street artist who quite visibly puts his woes out to the world in visually-arresting, shocking, amusing ways. The primary “gallery” for his poster series, The Kwiatkowski Press: on dumpsters, street poles. His medium: etchings used for printmaking which are cut into the backs of heisted, segmented, orange safety cones; the etchings are then inked and pressed onto paper or cut-up shards of the orange cones themselves.

It's been noted that, historically in art, wood block artists have often dealt in religious or political subject matter. Arguably, Frank's safety-cone artwork treads both those grounds, as well: think images of a martyred saint facing the slings and sharp-syringe arrows of the mismanaged health management system, or insular and prisoner-like within his costly bottle of life-sustaining insulin. It's Kwiatkowski's agitprop-with-attitude that has spurred me to serially photo document each discovery that I make of his art in shadowy Denver alleyways and on grotty street corners.