Artist Gregory Folken opened his exhibit “Interpersonal” in the Newman University Steckline Gallery on Jan. 29 and explained his work more in depth at the“Art for Lunch” talk on Tuesday, Feb. 2.
Folken, a printmaker, explained that his work is extremely self-reflective and that he uses a technique called “mindfulness meditation” to create his monotype pieces. Folken explained that he often works from photographs he takes to find a base-subject, and then works from there, letting the rest of the piece unfold as he creates.
“I discovered an article about neurons in the brain that allow you to put yourself into someone else’s shoes by looking at them or, in this case, viewing artwork,” he said. “It can conjure emotions and feelings, and I wanted to bring that quality into this exhibition.”
Folken received his Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Texas A&M in 2006 and his Master of Fine Arts at Wichita State University last year. His show in the Steckline Gallery is his first public showing since his MFA thesis exhibit “Substrata,” which had a very similar aesthetic quality.
“[‘Interpersonal’] is an effort to understand myself and others around me,” he said. “The figures at and works have varying levels of readability throughout the exhibition. I made them this way to imbue a sense of mystery and a sense of discovery throughout the works.”