Name: Mark Ostapchuk
MNartist.org profile: Mark Ostapchuk
Facebook page: Mark Ostapchuk
Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
I make paintings and drawings. A variety of artists, along with visual and other personal precedents affect the choices and decisions that drive my pictures. Stepping around visual influences, I like how jazz singers play with and interpret very specific lyrics.
Typically, I go through lots of changes and revisions in trying to figure out how to make sense of and resolve pictures.
Currently, I am working on a painting series for a Minnesota Artist Exhibition Program show at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Getting work together for this show is different from my previous work in that I am working on a bunch of very new pieces and a deadline. I don’t have time to fret and procrastinate.
"What is Art?" is certainly too big of a question to ask here, but what do you hope your audience takes away from your art? What statement do you hope to make?
I hope that my pictures say enough that people will pause, look and think about them. In a world where we are bombarded by all kinds of visual things, I try to argue that paintings can still speak to us.
What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
Seek out all sorts of advice and criticism about your work. However, it is OK to pay particular attention to inputs that affirm what you want to do.
Also, cultivate intense friendships with other artists.
Tell me about your work space and your creative process.
I have a small studio in the old General Mills research facility at 2010 East Hennepin building complex. (It’s the home of Cheerios, Wheaties and Betty Crocker Kitchens.) I come into the studio every day, even if only to sit down and look. I try to have a variety of differing pieces in more than one media going at the same time. I work on very old, newer and newly primed surfaces simultaneously.
Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?
I enjoy lots and lots of Minnesota artists. I also have friends that do amazing work.
Getting more specific, a few locals that stand out for me include:
1. Tom Cowette Tom is an incredible artist.
2. Mary Abbott Mary Abbott lived here part-time for a few years the late 70’s. I know my considering her a Minnesota artist is a stretch, but her white painting up at the Weisman is one of my favorites.
3. Malcolm Myers Malcolm’s prints and paintings are exquisitely resolved and know how to charm your socks off.
4. Todd Norsten
I especially like Todd Norsten’s installation/mural at the Bachelor Farmer’s upstairs bar.
If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
Museums I visit include the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Weisman Museum and Minnesota Museum of Art’s current traveling shows.
For the shear variety of work, I like Gallery 13.
Where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise?
I generally google an artist or show, then surf the web chaotically.
Some web sites I visit fairly regularly include:
1. Anaba Social Sculpture: http://anaba.blogspot.com/
I like this site for new art and young artists. On occasion Anaba provides intelligent rants and gripes.
2. Two Coats of Paint: http://www.twocoatsofpaint.com/
Two Coats is good for general art news/info.
3. Joanne Mattera’s Marketing Mondays: http://joannemattera.blogspot.com/
Joanne Mattera provides smart common sense business advice for artists.
4. Edward Winkleman’s blog: http://www.edwardwinkleman.com/
I visit Edward Winkleman’s blog site for a gallery owner’s take on art, artists and the N.Y. art world.
5. Bad at Sports http://badatsports.com/ This is a Chicago based site I like for general art info.
Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
I have a show at the Minneapolis Institute of Art’sM.A.E.P Gallery opening January 19 and runs through 4/21/2012.