If you ask people in the Columbia art scene, Michael Krajewski is one of the city’s greatest innovators. If you’ve been to an art gallery in the past few years, seen street art or been to an event where art is in the room, you’ve come across his work. He took a few minutes from his busy schedule to tell us about his process, what’s next and an interesting answer to knowing when a work is complete.
Q. For the people who don’t know you, tell us who you are.
A. I am a self-taught artist. My brother’s name is Joe. I am French, Chinese, Polish and Indonesian. I have shown in numerous galleries, collaborated on large commissioned pieces for museums and painted live at art events. I love giving back to my community in anyway that I can. I have given my artwork to many charities and fundraisers I feel strongly about. I love my city and my state in all its multifaceted layers. My style has been called neo-expressionist and compared to Jean-Michel Basquiat’s, though I am less interested in defining, more interested in producing. I work in mixed media. I am represented by the Hoff Gallery on 2828 Devine St.
Q. There’s a school of thought that being an artist is knowing when the work is done. How do you know a piece is complete?
A. How do you know when you are finished making love?
Q. You’ve done so many things in Columbia as an artist. What motivates you?
A: Motivation comes naturally to me when pertaining to creating art. I always strive to continue to evolve on many levels with my concepts, line work, color techniques and even how the work should be presented. The day I stop feeling like I am not evolving with my artwork I will put down my paintbrush. I don’t believe that moment will ever come.
Q. What’s next?
A: In the near future I have projects and shows as well as classes on the horizon. I have a showing in August at Motor Supply, “Almost All Animal,” as part of the “Eat with Art” series curated by Bohumila Augustinova. Also in August I will be teaching summer camps for ages 4 to 9 and 10 to 16 at the Columbia Art Center on Taylor Street, along with a private class I teach every Wednesday in August titled, “Creative Channeling with Krajewski.”
In October, I have the mini gallery series with Jasper Magazine in Tapps Art Center. It’ll be presented on the first Thursday in October. Currently I am working/collaborating with Justin and Lucas on two permanent sculptures for a west Columbia park. I also am in the middle of working on putting my art directly on the walls at the Black Rooster, a new restaurant to open soon at 211 Meeting St.
special to GoColumbia