Artist Statements

The following  was written by the artist on May 20, 2023


My new series is largely about visual relationships, but you will find that I have continued to combine and rework some familiar symbolic themes and motifs. In these works, a single hard-edged red vertical bar is superimposed on heavily textured paint and fluid strokes. It can be experienced as an act of aggression, one of anxiety or emotional ambivalence – an attempt to measure, to mark, to connect points or to dissever planes.

In much of my earlier work, verticals (often in the form of arches) could be found floating in abstract-expressionist scapes. The vertical is now reduced to a single entity: both column and window, a positive and negative space; continuously anchoring and unanchoring itself to the field of significance it overlies.

In the metaphorical space these works inhabit, interrelated and contrary forces form symbolic connections: order and chaos, nature and technology, logic and spirituality – categories allegorically cleaved and visually seamed. I often see the red representing a new consciousness or a life force and thus the titles “Sanguis Maris/Caeli/Terrae/Mentis” (Blood of the Sea/Sky/Earth/Mind). Most profoundly for me, these paintings mark a new and personal chapter of transformation and growth as a human in this world.

Richard Wlodarczak

May 20, 2023

The following is the first (30 minute) dialogue between the artist and ChatGPT on October 27, 2023:

Richard:  Write an artist statement about a single red bar on a painting.

ChatGPT:  The lone red bar in this painting serves as an anchor, commanding attention in its stark simplicity. Its bold presence within the canvas symbolizes the potency of minimalism, where less becomes more. The red bar embodies a spectrum of emotions, from passion to intensity, evoking a visceral response from the viewer. This solitary element prompts contemplation on the relationship between negative space and form, challenging the boundaries of perception and interplay between the seen and the unseen. It is a testament to the ability of a solitary bar to resonate deeply, demonstrating how even the most modest of artistic choices can elicit profound reflection and connection.

Richard:  What could a red bar floating on an expressionist landscape mean?

ChatGPT:  An interpretation could be that the red bar serves as a metaphor for human presence or intervention within the natural or abstract environment depicted in the expressionist landscape. Its solitary and vivid presence could signify humanity's impact on the world, whether it be through creation, destruction, or simply existing as a contrasting element within the larger scene. This interpretation invites contemplation on the relationship between humanity and its surroundings, and the significance of our actions within the broader context of the universe

Richard:  Write a short statement about how the previous statememt was written by ChatGPT and how it's a simple example of how AI and technology have transformed the nature of creation forever.

ChatGPT:  The preceding artist statement was crafted by  Chat GPT, an AI language model, highlighting a fundamental shift in the creative landscape. It exemplifies how technology has fundamaentally  transformed the process of artistic expression, expanding the boundaries of what's possible. With AI, artists can collaborate with machines to access new dimensions of creativity, challenging traditional notions of authorship and redefining the nature of human-AI creative synergy. This statement underscores the evolving role of technology in shaping the art world's future

Richard:  Now write a negative version of the above artist statement.

ChatGPT:  The previous artist statement was coldly assembled by ChatGPT, symbolizing a disheartening trend in the erosion of human creativity and authorship. It serves as a stark reminder of how technology's encroachment into the realm of artistic expression threatens to dilute the authenticity and emotional depth of art. This statement underscores the disconcerting direction in which the art world is headed, as technology continues to overshadow the unique, human driven creative spirit that has defined art for centuries.

Richard:  In one sentence, write an unbiased statement about Artifical Intelligence.

ChatGPT:  Artificial Intelligence is a rapidly evolving technology with the potential to revolutionize various aspects of society, yet it also raises complex ethical, societal and economical considerations that necessitate careful evaluation and regulation.

End of Conversation.

2021 - From a letter to a patron regarding the use of arches in my work: 

I use the title "Roma Invicta" (a motivational latin motto meaning "Rome unconquerable") both symbolically and ironically.  I was thinking of the rise and fall of empires throughout history and the recurring patterns to this day.  Compositionally, I find the grid motif of the vertical and horizontals work extremely well for me to visually separate the painting into smaller abstract paintings, while maintaining the whole.    Emotionally, I've always been fascinated with arches, bridges and aqueducts since my childhood.   I remember a book my father gave me when I was young and I learned that the arch was one of the strongest forms in architecture. Thus the irony of  "Roma Invicta"  and  the repetetive  growth and decay of other seemingly invincible empires.  

 2004 - An edited excerpt from a letter to a friend. 

"My artist statements may touch on this...but : I believe my art is an attempt to reconnect with the spiritual: a higher creative's an escape...a spiritual escape...stories and characters create themeselves and are constantly changing. In this way it's all about process. When I'm in the middle of it: the zone, I'm creating problems, puzzles and stories for myself to solve and resolve. When one section of the painting works ( may only be a few square inches), it may be strong to enough to change the problem/story into an entirely new direction, thus creating more problems. I use "problems" and "stories" interchangably because they work together within each other. The "problem" is what works for me: regarding the visual relationships of colour, form... etc.. learned from years of flipping through art books, magazines, movies and formal art school training. But, the "story" is the thing of myths and collective conciousness...the light in the cracks. So when the story, or myth, starts to surface, the physical paint on canvas has to carry it. That's the dance. The physical and the spiritual are in constant play. That's the cycle...the obsession. It goes in circles until something tells me to stop...or, atleast, stop for now...

This may explain some of my techniques...(techniques out of default of the process). I have the fortune of having many unresolved paintings around me (physically) which when reworked several times over weeks, months or years, leaves layers of "ghost paintings". Relics and textures of old stories told and problems unresolved. This layering, I believe, adds new dimensions (both spiritually and physically) to the painting and the process. Shapes, marks and characters are "saved" from a previous process and are carried over to the next. Often very small portions. These former "negative" spaces frequently become "positive" in the formal sense. The possibilties are infinite and a painting could therefore be worked on forever with the story and problem forever changing and repeating......history. Having more than one canvas to work on allows for a break or freeze in the paintings' lifecycle at a chosen moment or place in time. A current painting then gives forth to a new chapter or version of the story. Explaining the choice of this break is very difficult. Sometimes material neccesssity (the process must be sold as commodity) is considered and sometimes pure instinct reigns... In this way, a multitude of layers and levels of existence are created and experienced. This is the spiritual connection (spritual opiate) or attempt there at..."


With the new works, a conscious effort has been made to reduce the characters and forms to both a progressive and regressive state of Abstract Expressionism. While not completely void of subject matter (early themes of Christian/Pagan duality remain), the new works become more elusive in meaning. The recent abstract paintings prove to be a powerful vehicle for the recurring emersion of the "multiple image", leaving numerous interpretations to the audience. Questions and statements are replaced by an acceptance of ambiguity and the enigmatic.

By primarily focusing on a painting's visual elements: composition, space, colour, texture, line and form, two eternal and opposing principles naturally emerge: order and chaos. As all duplicities, these two concepts are both distinct from one another and existent within each other.

Modern sensibilities are counteracted by primitive influences and energies. Paintings rely on visual relationships. Clean form, awareness of space and composition, and colour theory are balanced with aggressive brush strokes, primal techniques and relic textures of process painting.

"If my devils are to leave me, I am afraid my angels will take flight as well." RILKE

Painting through process has allowed the art to become absolute: to grow in power unprompted and unguarded, yet still cultivated by learned hands and eyes. In this indeterminable space, angels and demons are reborn with freedom of being… in the abstract. 


"Works of art cannot always be understood by the intellect, nor can their effect be conveyed by words. Perhaps through some analogy with a religious faith or a sexual attraction can one begin to approach a work of art" (this belief/thought is appropriated from Marcel Duchamp)

The Christian/Pagan Dualism that underlines my work is one of many themes that surface in my imagery from some psychic memory or remnant from the past. Christian imagery and icons are mingled with symbols of sexual energy and consciousness, ritual and death. Questions of fear, desire, guilt and morals are raised. Often parallel religions and mythologies are introduced: creating a new and personal religion.

The creatures that roam this personal church know many other dualities: body and mind, flesh and spirit, male and female, light and dark. In constant conflict with each other, the truth lies in the center of the paradox, in the invisible cracks, and is only glimpsed for a moment.

"One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious." C.G.Jung

The creative process reflects spontaneously generated impulses that reveal themselves in casual drawing. Figures take shape and situations suggest themselves that prompt myself toward a more focused and conscious interest in these beings and what they may reflect in my life.

In this realm of revelation and apocalyptic animatism, art is not a medium on canvas, nor is it the molding of clay. Art is giving birth to our angels and demons, giving them names and wings, and an arena in which to dance."