Gene Wisniewski received his art education at Rutgers University, the New York Academy of Art, The National Academy of Design, The New School, and L’Ecole Albert Defois in Vihiers, France. He has exhibited in galleries nationwide, including New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. He has twenty years’ experience teaching and lecturing on visual art. His short stories have appeared in Exquisite Corpse, Satellite magazine, and other publications. His first full-length book, The Art of Looking at Art, was released October 2020 by Rowman and Littlefield publishers. He is currently working on screenplay adaptations based on two of his published short stories.

My work has developed from a belief in a strong foundation. I made a point of training at schools with an academic bent, including the New York Academy of Art and the National Academy of Design, in order to achieve a certain level of technical expertise at portraying reality. I knew that only then could I permit myself the freedom to take what I wanted from this framework and put aside what was extraneous to presenting my own reality. Since then, I have accumulated numerous influences; among them are Surrealism, Odilon Redon, underground comic book culture, Hieronymus Bosch, illustrators such as Edward Gorey, and so-called “thrift store” art. Consequently, I cultivated a body of work that added my own personal statement to a combination and continuation of these influences. A partial list of contemporary artists with whom I feel an affinity are Trevor Winkfield, Marcel Dzama, Jan Svankmajer, comic artist Kaz (“Underworld”), Ncola Tyson, Jim Nutt, and Lars Norgård.

Spontaneity is at the crux of my work. The images come unfiltered from my mind through my hand. They are derived by collecting the images of dreams, doodles, fleeting thoughts, or sketches done immediately upon awakening. Being highly intuitive in nature, what is depicted is not meant to symbolize anything specific; rather, it is intended to evoke a realm outside the normal patterns of thought.

My interest in the unconventional also extends to the materials I employ. To this end, I either seek out nontraditional media (dioramas made from dollar store toys) or use traditional media in nontraditional ways (pastels applied in a hard-edged, graphic manner).

In summation, what I seek to put forward is a personal, idiosyncratic vision that emanates from my imagination while at the same time pays homage to a line of predecessors who have made contributions I admire.

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