Inspired by Zen culture, minimalism, science fiction and ambient electronic music, Kowalski works intuitively in thin layers of oil paint and wax to create delicate and intimate object-paintings that propose hazy narratives to be pondered, and never told.
Kowalski’s love of electronic music came to the fore in his ongoing series Die Farben (2019). Having begun with the desire to work colour into his predominantly monochromatic palette, he responds to the atmosphere of the album ‘Patashnik’ by Norwegian artist Biosphere to create vague and fleeting scenes in which the colours adopt a strangeness that Kowalski compares to that of alien visitors. Coincidentally, after mapping out the series’ storyboard, he discovered that it shares similarities with a short story ‘The Color Out of Space’ by science fiction writer H.P. Lovecraft, in which an alien possesses remote farmlands. Through their intangible and ambiguous qualities, as with Lovecraft’s non-depicted character, the paintings’ narratives remain open to interpretation.
In creating his series The Last Pictures From Earth (2018 - ongoing), Kowalski first searches for webcam images with an imagined and subtle sense of an apocalyptic or post apocalyptic world. The paintings take the position of a receiver of these images which continue to broadcast from devastated uninhabited places. Filtered through the indifferent lens of the webcams and resonating with the atmosphere of ambient electronic music, the paintings are still yet catastrophic and render a heightened sense of beauty despite their dystopian nature.
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