When I was a young boy living a rather isolated existence in the middle of nowhere in Northern Wisconsin, I VERY naively thought one became an adult, plateaued, then after retirement became a grandparent and that was it. Change was for children. Growth happened, then stopped. Oh, and death only existed in the world of hamsters and fish. Uff da, did I ever have a surprise in store as I got older.
Decades later, understanding we are in a constant state of change, my mind boggles at the plot twists and lessons we learn along the way. Unwittingly or otherwise, we are challenged by life daily, in pursuit of joy, pushing onward like a punch drunk boxer. We bob and weave through life, at times dodging a blow, while others land squarely on the jaw, our knees buckling from the impact, as we stagger to right ourselves and march on until the final round bell rings and we’re launched into that great otherness.
It’s been a challenging couple of years for everyone. Mine has included an inordinate amount of loss, multiple home and studio moves, and the challenges that come with a debilitating infection I have had upwards of ten years which was consuming my body and brain, and that now, very gratefully, includes an ongoing, albeit up and down, diagnosis and healing journey.
When I began losing the use of my hands though, it was the most worrisome. What is an artist without their most important tools? Creating, making and building are at the core of who I am, it’s what I do, think about, and dream about. So as my health improved enough to paint again, these gnarled, swollen hands arrived to represent my own healing journey and the arthritis that had invaded and stiffened up the joints. The wispy human shell, or abstracted hand form, is us, clambering upward for change, as we chase the spritely, slightly fiendish, angelic ideal on this crazy journey we call life.
As an intuitive mark-maker, I am attracted to the action, movement and tactility of an artwork, and that is how I represent myself in my works. I seek a rawness balanced with a sense of control, freedom in marks and gesture, yet compositions with a sense of structure. I prefer working in a series, and very much in a quantity over quality mindset, allowing me to work on many pieces at once, with each influencing the other. This allows my forms and beings to have an anthropomorphic quality, shifting throughout the process, attempting to balance a thoughtful narrative with impromptu, spontaneous lines and action.
Eric Dubnicka | The Theater of the Healing Body
On view online with Shoebox Projects through October 21st
After a creative and fulfilling eighteen years in Duluth, MN on the cold and windy shores of Lake Superior, including ten years as Gallery & Collection Manager at the Tweed Museum of Art, in 2019 Eric sold off all he owned and headed for California to pursue his art career dreams and heal his body. After stints in Ojai and Los Angeles he landed in the quaint small town of Cambria, half way between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Originally pursuing a degree in wildlife biology and working for the Forest Service in Juneau, AK, he eventually obtained a degree in fine art from the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul, MN. With an emphasis on mark making and texture, his artwork spans all media including painting, sculpture, photography, digital and land-based works. Themes of human interaction, mental health, growth and death are often at the forefront of Eric’s work. Currently overcoming ten years of chronic illness, he is renovating his dream studio and excited for healthy and creative life ahead!