The Shadow Series: Artist Statement
Text courtesy of the artist
The shadow series started on the one year anniversary of my father’s death. Wanting to connect with him, I started to paint his portrait based off of a black and white photo from when he was a young priest. I had not painted a traditional portrait in years and soon was frustrated. Disgruntled, I laid on the couch until my wife entered the studio. She saw the large amount of dark acrylic paint mixed on the palette and asked if she could cover the canvas so it would not go to waste. I agreed and took a nap. When I woke up, I noticed the warm light coming in through the front door. I looked out at the tree shadows and realized, in that instant, what I needed to paint. I took the dark canvas off the working wall, laid it on the ground, knelt down and traced the tree shadow directly onto the canvas. I realized as life is to light, death is to shadows, one cannot be without the other. My dad was showing himself in a different form and I felt his presence profoundly. The shadow series began.
My work is a record of what is going on around me in the present moment. My subject matter is my family, friends, house and yard which I record and adore on a daily basis. The beauty and power of shadows, the mysterious and ever changing light that creates them and their ambiguity and implied meaning continue to inspire me and infuse my work. Each painting begins by tracing the object’s cast shadow directly onto the canvas and is an actual size record of time and space. I am constantly amazed how a single outline can capture a gesture, mood and personality and how color and edge can create space, focus and mood. Each painting becomes a light infused container that preserves a moment, painted directly though the malleable and flowing medium of oil paint. Through drips, skeins and piles of paint, the surface becomes activated and glows with a light from within.
These are paintings of gratitude, joy and love that I feel for my family, home and loved ones and the light that infuses our lives. Intimate views of contemplation, interaction and everyday life are recorded during a specific time, conveying a universal feeling. I never know what the next day will bring, it is a constant treasure hunt where the jewels are always right under my nose. -2015
Todd Mrozinski acquired his BFA in painting from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 1997 and in 1996 attended The New York Studio Program. He has been in solo and group exhibitions nationwide and his work is in various public and private collections. The elements of earth, air, fire, water and spirit, as well as his home and everyday objects are his subject matter. In 2012, after the death of his father, Todd became interested in and started working with cast shadows. His work is produced in series, each series relates symbolically to life experience and grows out of inspiration. He and his wife, Renee Bebeau, have a studio in The Nut Factory, Milwaukee, WI. Todd was the 2015-16 Pfister Artist-in-Residence, curator of the Pfister Pop-Up Gallery and is currently represented by The Woodman/Shimko Gallery, Provincetown, MA and Palm Springs CA.