Kevin P. Koniewicz

What are you currently working on?
I’m actually restoring a dresser to put my clothes in. But what I really hope to do is a complete map of the U.S., at scale of course, with each state wrapped in its license plates from past and present. I love how the variety of older license plates that exist and have incorporated them into my work as well.

Are you currently exhibiting your work? Do you have any upcoming exhibits?
I am currently in a group show in Fishtown at Salon 1522. It’s a home gallery run by some friends of mine in which I have two pieces on exhibit. I was just in a really cool “Twin Peaks” themed show in a Fishtown gallery called Pirahna Betty’s.

This is the waiting room

Sketch for Twin Peaks Exhibit

If you had the time and resources to segue into another medium/ or art project, what do you think it might be?
Welding definitely. However, my first love is projecting visuals. For a short time I used to do visual traffic for a Philly-based, Lit-pop band called the Absinthe Drinkers. I have my own evil ideas for future projects involving visuals but first I have to find a decent video mixer.

Do you have any non-art interests you’d like to discuss?
For about two years I was in a wedding band called Dance Force. I was their roadie.

unsettling

How would you define your style?
Conceptual. I like the viewer to try and figure out what my vision was. It’s also cool to hear what conclusions people take away when viewing my work whether they are way off base or spot on. I’m a born gleaner so I love found objects and always try to incorporate them into a piece. I find beauty from what lies on the ground or elsewhere. I once found a pitching wedge in a tree. Some people just don’t ever look up or down. They just have their eyes on their destination. My close friends don’t think it’s strange when I pick stuff up off the ground and stick it in my pocket.

What themes and concepts does your work generally revolve around?
I like to create vignettes of past memories to convey another time. I like waxing nostalgia in general, so it often finds it way into my work.

wife in the house

What’s your background?
I like the moniker “recovering graphic designer” to describe what path I walk currently. The fucking corporate machine burned me out and practically killed my creative soul. I literally had to struggle to regain my processes and creativity. I think it was due largely in part to spending an entire year in California. That place is rad and I was bummed about having to move. Fortunately, I came back full of ideas and made a bunch of bad art just to exercise my atrophied skills. Nah mean? School-wise, I have a BFA in Communication Design from Kutztown University way out in Pennsyltucky. I now make a living as a union stage hand and movie grip here in Philthadelphia.

What do you think of the Philly art scene? Are you involved with any groups or organizations?
The Philly art scene has it going on. There are so many new galleries that are eager to introduce new artists to the masses. There are also a host of home galleries popping us guerilla-style that sometimes seem more arty than party. I think free booze is a great way to bring people into a space and allow them to absorb the art while experience community at the same time. Two good ones: Homeskooled Gallery in West Philly is sort of a roving show similar to Flip Hassel’s, Phantom Gallery. Another one is My House Gallery in South Philly. I think that Old City is played out and the outer rims are stepping up. People want fresh approaches. At least I do.

keystone kid

What are you currently reading?
The Easy Way to Stop Smoking by Allen Carr (At least I was)…

Music you like:
I am into too many types to name so let’s just say, “I’m an appreciater.”

What are some of your interests?
I love hunting and fishing and being in the outdoors. I also love going crabbing on the Chesapeake bay and drinking.

Favorite comic strips/ comic books/ graphic novels?
Archie, Flash Gordon, Beatle Bailey, Men of War, House of Horrors, etc.

Favorite visual artists?
I think right now it is Duchamp. It used to be Keith Haring all the way. My middle school nurse was his aunt so I got a lot of free shit that came right from him. Pretty sure he is why I’m into street art. Also the movie “Beat Street.” At the moment I like people like Banksy and other such notables.

the artist

Favorite movies?
Dazed and Confused is the only thing that comes to mind. I do like other movies but I’m sort of high at the moment.

Favorite websites?
Google

If someone were to come to your town/city to visit, what places/ bars/ parks/ events etc. should they be sure to check out?
Ok just a few I like: Kung Fu Necktie, El Bar, The Abbaye, North 3rd, 700 Club, Johnny Brenda’s , North Star Bar, The Khyber, Liberty Lands Park, Rittenhouse Square Park, Tinicum Wildlife Refuge, Fort Mifflin, Yards Brewery, Philadelphia Brewing Company, The Ritz Theater, stuff like that.

Is there anything else you’d like to discuss?
Yes, stop hatin’ on our man Obama. He’s doing the best he can. I bet you’d feel just as fucked as he does after inheriting W’s sloppy mess.

Your website(s):
None at the moment. I’ll get to it. Find me on Facebook: Kevin Koniewicz in Philly.

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