Artist Spotlight: Tyler Krasowski
By Jay Armstrong
In 1955 the grossly underappreciated masterpiece Night of the Hunter was released. The only film directed by Charles Laughton took artistic risks in adapting Davis Grubb‘s novel about a traveling preacher (Robert Mitchum) who marries widow (Shelley Winters) in an attempt to uncover her dead husbands buried fortune. The experience as viewer is seen from the vantage point of the widow’s two young children who find themselves alone in sensing beyond his religious facade the evil boiling beneath. Quickly the children find themselves swallowed by danger with no one to turn to for relief. Other greats, notably To Kill A Mockingbird (Gregory Peck) and Radio Flyer (Tom Hanks/Elijah Woods), took artistic liberties borrowing from Night of the Hunter; speaking not to a lack of originality in the latter films, instead it goes to point out how brilliant the shots Laughton used to tell us the story remain to be. Distribution buried the film. No one knew how to market it. Religion as a veil hiding repressed sexuality and crooked truths all seen through the experience of two children with cinematography leaning expressionistic–there was a lot to unpack for an average popcorn entertainment crowd; especially in those rasping last ideological self-hypnosis days of middle American daydreams.
Much of the work of Tyler Krasowski aligns significantly with Night of the Hunter. The innocence of youth shapes the broader experience while the intrigue and danger of shadows pulls us in reminder there is an artistic depth not to be mistaken. His “The Secret Garden” series is most notable of an example of this. A false sense of simplicity gradually peels back as his autobiographical expression of a small forest ventured to as a child between subdivisions in suburban Chicago comes to life in all its magnificent dangerous possibilities or as he explains, “this work attempts to look and actively sit with the unacknowledged darkness.”
From printmaker to sketchbook work Krasowski seems to thirst for expression without a desire to limit himself by a single format. Certainly the breadth of the artistry is a far cry from ominous in nature when taking in the overall catalog. For example his current work has been focused on one-liners and appropriating a No Fear poster he has had since fourth grade in hopes of stripping back the levity for the lighthearted, playing all the more into the wondrous Peter Pan spirit defining the optimistic aura sensed throughout his work, laying out a cathartic therapeutic revisiting of himself as the reflection we are seeing. In every painting, print, sketch is selfless truth told through biased contemplative hands. One can only wonder where this journey will take us. Will we find ourselves braving the dark corners of his soul? Will we see the future through excited eyes substantiated by a refusal of being subdued under the weight of time? All possibilities seem likely, all expressions no doubt will be unique. Intrigued we wait patiently.
Tyler Krasowski – Instagram | Big Cartel