Christopher Olszewski: Riding the Storm Out
On View: April 18 through May 25, 2018
UNCP Campus Lecture: Wednesday, March 28, 2018 1:30-2pm, Locklear Hall
UNCP Campus Demonstration: Wednesday, March 28, 2018 2pm-5pm, The UC law
The A.D. Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of the work of artist Christopher Olszewski. On view in the gallery is a selection of recent paintings and large-scale installations from his ongoing automobile skins project. Olszewski is an active member of the Chippewa of Mnjikaning First Nation and developed his aesthetic from the creative visual language of the Northern Woodland people. His work is rooted in western Western painting traditions and the modernist/postmodernist philosophy of art, but focuses on his own cultural identity. Olszewski states, “I also have a fascination with the ancient Native American world and how it interacts with current times. My goal is to develop the Native American image beyond the “Souvenir Shop” and to depict actual people struggling with the encroachment of the dominant contemporary culture.”
Christopher Olszewski views himself as “a completely assimilated Native American” and his paintings, automobile skins, photography, sculptures, videos, graffiti, interactive installations, performance art and drawings as a philosophical inquiry and contemplation of this existence. His investigation of my cultural identity is based on superficial, mass mass-consumed imagery, and he draws connotations to of the disparate images of Native American stereotypes. Juxtaposing images of United States currency, automotive brands, and professional sports logos with images of Native Americans in ordinary settings develops a consciousness of a thriving culture beyond the caricature. Olszewski’ s paintings weave an intricate line between propaganda and advertising with an emphasis on the abuse of the words Freedom, Liberty, Power and Truth. In his work, he hope to convey a sense of Chippewa culture and history, Western education, mainstream American culture, delight and hardship, the light and the dark and, last but not least, harmony between the past and the present. Using the exaggerated expressiveness of cartooning and the stylistic rendering of graphic illustration, Olszewski’s creative process balances a zeitgeist of modern day anxiety with Native American ethos.