Studio Visit with Shane Izykowski

By Ashley L. Voss

Art Attack SF interviews Shane Izykowski about his work that will be included in
"Spookshow, Baby!" on view from October 17th - October 28th. 


Can you describe the project are you working on now?
My current body of work explores the concept of life and death, and the human experience in between. In today’s social climate, we are constantly reminded of our own mortality. I enjoy pointing out the relationship that life and death have with light and darkness. There is a balance, and one would not exist without the other. In regards to my technique, I always start my work with a black surface and pull the highlights and detail out of that. The largest painting I'll be showing at "Spookshow, Baby!" is a self-portrait, of sorts. The piece, titled "Whisper Down the Alley," depicts the effects of gossip on my life and my ties with other people. I'll also be exhibiting a piece which belongs to a larger body of work surrounding the themes of cultural superstitions. The rest of the series will be unveiled in 2018.

Where do most of your creative ideas and inspiration come from?
My artwork is a product of my upbringing and my deep love for horror films and Halloween. As a child, my family acted in Haunted Houses and really celebrated Halloween. I grew up on classic horror films, and have been costuming since I was young. I am inspired by these memories, by films, and by people and the places around me. I often pick friends to model for me, as I am motivated by the possibility of collaboration with kindred spirits.

What is an average day in the studio like for you?
Every day in the studio is different. Sometimes I paint the entire day. Other days, I'll be sculpting, painting, editing photos or video or framing new work. I always like to have multiple projects happening at once, so I can make the best use of my time.

What is the most indispensable item in your studio?
My speakers or headphones! I HAVE TO listen to music or a podcast while I'm working! It's the best way to get in the zone! Also, for the closing of “Spookshow, Baby!” I’ve carefully curated a playlist of music that inspires me. I will share this playlist with all of you! 

Join us for the opening reception and artist talk on October 17th, from 6:00pm-8:00pm. During the event, Shane will give an artist talk about his interest in dark art, growing-up in a Halloween-centered household, the art of special effects and makeup, and his experience competing in a nationally televised costume contest. The first 25 attendees will receive a free print of Shane’s new artwork!

On October 28th from 6:00pm-9:00pm, we will host a Halloween party alongside the closing reception of “Spookshow, Baby!"  In addition to a costume contest with prizes (judged by Shane and the Art Attack SF team), there will be a photo booth to document your costumes! Be sure to arrive by 6:30pm to witness Eve Exothermal’s Halloween-themed contortion act. The event is free and open to the public.


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