Winston Chmielinski chats to us from a bus

We had a chance to chat with artist Winston Chmielinski about his latest showing at VOLTA NYC while he was on a bus from Boston to New York. Winston is one of our favorite artists at the moment. His work is vibrant and beautiful but at the same time a little sinister. We’re biting at the chomp to see what he does next.

Where are you now? I’m on a bus. I was actually scared it would be a shit show since Fung Wah Transportation is now finally defunct.


Do you live in Boston?
What were you doing there?
I’ve been painting out of Boston and going back and forth between New York all winter. My room (in my family’s house in Boston) is squared off by garment racks. You step through and it’s dreamy. Mom can’t see in—I’ve been saving up money for a move to Berlin.


How old are you?


So what was your major in school?
Creative writing mostly, with a zig-zag through philosophy. My most memorable course at NYU was Body Awareness for Performers as a sophomore.



I heard you are a self-taught painter, can you tell me a little bit about that? I’m self-taught in the sense that I developed a technique based off of paintings twice removed — I looked at photos of canvases glowing out from computer screens. Paint taught me. And I say that unromantically, because it was simply trial and error.



When did you start painting? As a sophomore in high school, around 2004.



What was the first thing you painted? Concept art. With wolves and spears.



When did you come out? My mother outed me at 17.


We went to your show at Envoy Enterprises ‘Ecstatic Skin’ back in November 2012, which we loved, what’s the difference with what you are showing at VOLTA and what you showed then?
Ecstatic Skin showed my emergence into new territory, some of the works were still wet. In the short time between then and now, that explosive flow outwards has turned bit more viscous.


What’s are you showing in VOLTA?
So at VOLTA, expect to see literal overlappings of representational forms over figures and figures letting go, slowly. The main pieces I painted after a trip to Iceland: they’re called ‘Geyser and Waterfall.’



How did you get involved with VOLTA 2013?
Through Envoy Enterprises (the gallery that represents me). Each invited gallery dedicates its booth to one artist…so I feel very honored to be there.



Who/What influences you as an artist? I’m influenced as a person by other people… However if you asked me who I’d like to dine with from the present or past. I don’t know what I could say. Because face to face there’s a face in the way. I gravitate toward clarity of expression, so I’d rather spend hours with something, like a book or an album or a painting, than with someone because those condensations of a person are a million muscles firing and I don’t know how many muscles are in my body but it’s less, and they aren’t as flexible.


A Yard, 2012, oil paint on canvas, 28 x 36 inches.


Switch, 2013, oil paint on canvas, 20 x 16 inches.



Waterfall, 2013, oil paint on canvas, 48 x 48 inches.



Gyser, 2013, oil paint on canvas, 48 x 60 inches.



My Deep End Friend / Pools By The Dam, 2013, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches.


Winston Chmielinski is showing at VOLTA NY 2013,  from March 7 – 10 (booth 1.16).

82 Mercer St. NY, NY.