Jason Karolak’s layered neon grids in aqua and fuchsia float in a stark, cosmic darkness, the artist exploring a tension between the containment of the form and the expanse of the subject’s atmosphere. Aside from the aesthetic engagement these pieces require of their reader, they inspire reflection on structure as a concept. Chemistry of opposites is visually engendered between vibrant color and darkness, connection and disconnection, transparency and visual weight, empty and structured space, organic and artificial creation, growth and stagnation. I find myself reflecting on the structure and limitation of existence and the chemistry between yet to be understood life forces.Pretentious philosophical bologna? Perhaps. But Karolak achieves what few painters can—he engages the viewer’s mind as successfully as he engages the eye. He pushes the limitations of connection in opposites and, if you don’t buy the intention, his work is still damn original.
-written by Emily Alesandrini