The first time we met he related a memory of throwing off their clothes and jumping into a collector’s pool with Jean-Michel (Yes, as in Basquiat). I suppose it isn’t surprising such an artist is cherished by the local community. Really, though, it is his painting that’s secured him in the esteem of Tampa Bay.
Wujcik’s work is often about pop culture but somehow beyond pop art. His work explores some of the subtext of cultures while tackling the nuances of painting itself. Each new series of work seems to bring along a refined conceptual efficiency. Thus its with some excitement that new work from Theo Wujcik is now exhibiting at Sarasota’s Selby Gallery.
The show is an interesting combination of solo and dual exhibit. Selby Gallery is exhibiting in inter-institutional conjunction with State College of Florida which is presenting the work of Kirk Ke Wang. Wujcik and Wang work in nearby studios often meeting to discuss new work and the concepts behind it. Though both have a way of getting at the politics behind pop-culture, ethnic cultures, and art making they differ markedly in execution. Exhibiting the two together in a way offers two perspectives of the same landscape. Especially interesting is the fact that Theo Wujcik created entirely new work specifically for this exhibit.
Ringling College’s Selby Gallery is a beautiful 3,000 square foot space. Aimed at offering students and the surrounding community exposure to acclaimed artists, the gallery sets out to be “both a center of learning and hub of extracurricular activity.” Selby Gallery has developed a reputation beyond that of a college gallery and into as one of Sarasota’s best destinations for contemporary art.
Theo Wujcik: New Paintings is on view through December 11. Selby Gallery is located on the Ringling College of Art and Design campus, one-half block east of 2700 N. Tamiami Trail on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Way in Sarasota. Hours are Monday – Saturday, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, and Tuesday, 10:00 Am – 7:00 PM.