Steve Seleska: Environmental Artist

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With a rich and beautiful show at Ark Gallery through June 30th, Steve Seleska offers a window into time and space. There is no “final frontier” here, but rather a doorway into multiple frontiers, into worlds within worlds. The self-taught artist’s first solo show, Uncharted Territory,  presents environments and fantasy landscapes, evocative work that is not only visually fascinating, but morally insightful. Seleska is encouraging viewers to look at changes in the world today on what he terms a molecular level; big events that affect human existence taken on an intimate scale.

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This body of work has a political passion, one that speaks to the national climate that has led to March for Science rallies, and nationwide cries for real facts and analysis versus propaganda. The fragility of our world and its eco-systems is the subject of Seleska’s artistic territory here, which presents the wonders of nature, the cosmos, the layering of the scientific with the phantasmagorical, the web of life.

SeleskaSeleska says “My work focuses on environments. My Micro-Environment series focuses on human observation of microscopic environments, perhaps viewed through a microscope,” he explains.

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Landescapism #4 above. “With the Landescapism series, the human becomes microscopic, observing a dystopian environment.” The viewer is deep inside the world here, beneath the shell of life as we know it.

The artist says that Unchartered Territory is representative of his current body of work, both in its intensity and its political bent. “My influences are environmental disasters. Oil spills and forest fires provided many visual references,” he relates.

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His Micro Environment #9 evokes motion, living creatures, caught and suspended, encapsulated. Micro Environment #111 appears like glossy liquid, water, oil, mutable substances.

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Deeply dimensional, like lace spun by spiders or filaments strewn by another species, Seleska’s work at Ark literally and figuratively makes viewers want to dive inside his world. Both graceful and intense, these fantastically textural works appear ready to come alive, swirl a new universe straight off the gallery walls.

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In terms of his thick and dreamy medium, Seleska notes “Layering acrylic and resin allows me to create a three-dimensional effect that invites the viewer into the painting.”

Although Seleska owns Resin Floor Studios, a company that creates art-like unique flooring, Seleska likes to keep his business and his art work separate. “The only real connection is that I use epoxy resin in both.”

The medium is at least in part the message in Seleska’s artwork, as he explores human events and consciousness. “Multiple layers of epoxy resin give rise to an intricate dimensionality. Reactions between oil, acrylic, resin and other chemical compounds hold evidence of interconnectedness and reflect transformation.”

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Seleska says his intention is to have the viewer “consider their relationship to our mysterious, precarious existence. My subject matter combines the representational and abstract. Together these elements create a transcendent aesthetic — an environment that is there and simultaneously not there.”

While it is still “there,” catch the last days of Seleska’s Ark exhibition this week, and see Seleska again with an exhibit at Launch LA in September 2017.