One of my earliest memories of art and painting was a visit to the Art Institute of Chicago with my father at the age of ten– and thought it was the most incredibly boring museum I have ever been to. My idea of an interesting museum was the Museum of Science and Industry. My opinion obviously changed over the years since I eventually ended up graduating from SAIC with my BFA. My first art related job was with Limelight – a very edgy nightclub at the time. Lots of celebrities came through, i.e., Divine, Kathleen Turner, and the lead singer from Dead or Alive, Pete Burns. I also got to work with artists like Ed Paschke and Mark Kostabi on the constantly changing murals. I was primarily working as an illustrator, for newspapers, magazines and advertising firms – and actually worked on projects for the Museum of Science and Industry. But, I was still courious and fascinated by the world of galleries and museums. Concurrently, I continued to paint, experimenting with many styles and techniques.
Years later, I accepted a full time position with Met Merchandising Concepts. Essentially a fixture and display company, Met also produced original artwork for sale to large department stores such as Marshall Field’s (Macy’s), Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue. The art produced ranged from traditional images of urns and still lifes to very contemporary abstract collages that utilized a variety of media. The experience of working at Met revitalized my passion for painting, and I produced a substantial amount of work that has an affinity with early and mid 20th century artists.
Of course, my work continues to evolve. My collective experiences, shape, influence, and propel my paintings in new, and hopefully unique directions. After years of working as a designer/illustrator and developing brands for clients and selling their products or ideas, I decided it was time to start focusing on my own vision and getting that out into the world. For the past six years, that has been my mission; it is what motivates and inspires me everyday of my life.
– Adaptation, change, transformation and mutability are the primary themes that characterize my work. These issues manifest themselves in different ways – sometimes it is through the combination of disparate elements – a flower, bird, or landscape merging with mechanical or technical structures – other times, it is through geometric forms. Whether the forms are abstract or representational there is always a sense of alteration or development into something new.
I shift between painting through observation of collages and maquettes – and a more immediate process in which areas are masked off and then use a trowel and squeegee to apply the paint. Often, found objects such as string, wire mesh, or even a potato sack are used to make monotypes contributing to the heterogeneous nature of the work.
The geometric paintings employ a very systematic approach, and in some ways meditative – mixing palettes, masking shapes and applying paint with a sponge to maintain a smooth, flat surface. The intersecting panels convey a paradox — one of a carefully constructed accident — simultaneously intentional and random. The painted edges create the illusion that these flat shapes exist as three-dimensional objects and rest on the threshold of painting and sculpture.
My paintings are a continuation of 20th century artistic traditions – surrealism, objective and non-objective abstraction. The syntheses of these different visual languages continually lead to new and unexpected outcomes.
1988 BFA, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Solo & Two-Person Exhibitions
Further Interruptions, Center on Halsted, Chicago, IL
Woodn't Be The First Time, Gallery 19, Chicago, IL
The Collection, Blackstone Hotel, Chicago, IL
Simulation, Evanston Art Center, Evanston, IL
Changes, Holly Hunt, Merchandise Mart, Chicago
It's All Relative, Lewis University Gallery, Romeoville, IL
Union, Human Thread Gallery in the Bridgeport Art Center, Chicago
Adaptation, Harold Washington Library, Chicago
Robert Porazinski: A solo exhibition, University Club, Chicago
Altered Images, Center on Halsted, Chicago
Spectrum, Pedroso/Jones Studio, Chicago
Retro Collection, Michael Taylor Designs, Merchandise Mart, Chicago
Transformer, Center on Halsted, Chicago
Reinvented, Johnathon Showroom, Chicago
Small Works, Simon Breitbard Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA
Geometric Complexions, Zhou B Art Center, Chicago, IL
KA-POW, Mixx Projects Gallery, Telluride, CO
Graphic, Line & Color, Roan & Black Gallery, Saugatuck, MI
Salon Show, Chicago Art Source, Chicago, IL
Circles, Scribbles & Squares, Roan & Black Gallery, Saugatuck, MI
Old Town Art Fair, Chicago, IL
Pilsen Artists' Open House, Pilsen Gallery District, Chicago, IL
6th Anniversary Show, Water Street Studios, Batavia, IL
Diptych, Degenerate Art Gallery, Chicago, IL
Hybrid's Paradise, Evanston Art Center, Evanston, IL
Art in Bloom, C. Parker Gallery, Greenwich, CT
Snap Shot, Roan & Black Gallery, Chicago, IL
Red & Cyan 3-D Anaglyph, Degenerate Art Gallery, Chicago, IL
Scapes, Roan & Black, Saugatuck, MI
Gallery Artists Exhibition, Chicago Art Source, Chicago, IL
Evanston Art Center Biennial, Evanston, IL, Awarded a solo exhibition in 2015
Old Town Art Fair, Chicago, IL
2nd Annual Bridgeport Art Competition, Bridgeport Art Center, Chicago
Gay Straight Alliance Exhibition, Governors State University, University Park, IL
The Machine, Union Street Gallery, Chicago Heights, IL, Second Place Award Winner
Port Clinton Art Fair, HIghland Park, IL, Outstanding Achievement Award
Within, 33 Contemporary/Zhou B Art Center, Chicago
Gold Coast Art Fair, Chicago IL, Outstanding Achievement Award
UnNaTuRaL, Governors State University, University Park, IL
Art on the Plaza, Wilmette IL, first place award winner
Introductions, Visual Poets Society Gallery, Chicago
Deer Park ARTumn Harvest, Deer Park, IL, first place award winner
Oakbrook 50th Annual Invitational Fine Art Exhibition, Oakbrook, IL
Art on the Plaza, Plaza Del Lago, Wilmette,IL
Queer Eye On A Diverse Nation, Center on Halsted, Chicago
Sprung, Center on Halsted, Chicago
Sensation, Haus, Chicago
Creative Convergence, Center on Halsted, Chicago
Flora or Fauna?, Galleria Concord, Chicago
Heat, Michael & Michael Salon
Gardens, Cain Gallery, Oak Park/Saugatuck
Open Hearts, Kozuk Gallery, Chicago
Juror Honorarium and Curatorial
2014 Juror for the Illinois Community College Exhibition, Governors State University, University Park, IL
Curator for Diverse Expressions, Human Thread Gallery at Bridgeport Art Center, Chicago, IL
Wood-panel work – works wonders at Gallery19, Noah Berlatsky, Reader, March 16, 2016
Review: Evanston Biennial Solo Shows/Evanston Art Center, New City Art, April 2015
The Hybrid Worlds of Robert Porazinski at the Evanston Art Center, Sergio Gomez Blog,
Inside the Studio, Feature story for Saatchi Art, September 2014
Praeterita blog post by Philip Hartigan, artist, writer, critic. June 2014
Creative Convergence: When GLBT Artists Come Together, reviewed by Paul Varnell, Chicago Free Press, Vol. 9, No. 10.
Politics and Art reviewed by Paul Varnell, Chicago Free Press, Vol. 10, No. 9.
(special mention and photo)