The Ohio Artist Registry (OAR) is an exciting opportunity for artists to share their work, connect with the creative community, and establish an online presence—all on a free, virtual platform! The OAR encourages artists working in all art forms, throughout Ohio and beyond, to create a profile, which allows them to better promote themselves and their work. Being listed in the OAR provides artists with new opportunities to share their work with clients, galleries, patrons, and audiences. For more information, contact Kathy Signorino, artist programs director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 614-728-6140.
Jeff Ostrowski (born 1978) is a mixed media artist specializing in paintings that juxtapose ancient artifacts with graffiti and contemporary themes. He is passionate about mythology and spirituality and loves epic stories, from Hercules to Star Wars. Influenced by the writings of Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung and the work of the Surrealists, he creates work that is thought-provoking and celebrates the diversity of world cultures. He lives and works near Columbus, Ohio and taught art in the area for nearly 20 years
My work juxtaposes images from art history and world mythology with graffiti, with nods to the writings of Joseph Campbell and Jung, as well as the work of the Surrealists.
The world was once a place of magic and mystery. From the earliest sculptures and marks on a wall, Art’s main purpose has been magic, be it hunting, healing or creating something that lasts beyond the artist’s final breath. Artists of the ancient past created art to tell the story of their world and its myths; graffiti artists paint to remind the world of their personal story, hoping to leave their mark. Most ancient artist’s names fade with the march of time while the graffiti writer is anonymous by choice. The pairing of an artifact that has survived centuries with art that might only last a day is extremely interesting to me. While seemingly unrelated, there is a a sense of magic and ritual that connects them.
Part of my process involves exploring the textures and layers found in graffiti spots. Rarely do you see graffiti on a perfectly clean surface. In many instances, there are remnants of past pieces popping out at the edges, showing up under paint that has peeled away or faint ghosts of lines underneath. As much as I love vibrant and freshly painted work, the old “forgotten” graffiti tells a story of what came before, similar to, yet very different from, the artifacts themselves.
The selection and representation of artifacts from diverse cultures is an important part of my work. I want to take the viewer beyond a purely aesthetic experience. I hope to spark a sense of curiosity around the object, the people and traditions that led to its original creation. At its deepest level, this could be the first step towards acknowledging and accepting people who think, believe and live differently, something that has become even more critical in recent years.
With my art, I hope to create a visual experience that (re)activates the mystical connection deep within our human consciousness. No matter what time in history or place on this earth, we have more in common than we realize.