Untitled, Silkscreen, collage, carving, painting, found object on found wooden panel, 2019

This week we welcome Will Kaplan, an artist/writer working with a variety of mediums, techniques, and text to probe boundaries. This New Jersey native grew up exploring highway hemmed nature preserves; tensions between the organic and the human-made manifest in his work. After graduating from Skidmore College in 2017 as an English major, Kaplan has made a home in Queens, a rich setting  for the intersection of visual art and the written word. His work has appeared in Vellum Magazine and Passing Notes, and at the Spring/Break Art Fair. He mounted his first solo show at Local Project Gallery in Long Island City.  In addition to organizing shows in alternative spaces, he works as a carpenter and art  handler.

Deep Seat of Power, Acrylic, collage, found object and carving on found cabinet door. 23 x 41 inches, 2020

  “My creations reflect a broad medium-less definition of “art.” As a producer and appreciator of visuals, literature, and music, my process gleans from other media to question the contours of a single form. This fusion approach lends my artwork a synaesthesia and musicality. Using a collage approach to incorporate printmaking, painting, and text, I design a sense of narrative which viewers can read and interpret differently.

Altered Piece, Found object, collage, woodcut, pen, found objects, carving on found table top, 32.5 x 30 x 5 inches, 2021

Found materials feature in my work to literally channel my surroundings. My collage elements come from books or magazines found on city streets; objects in my assemblages, and wood that I carve for relief prints come from dumpsters. This habit began out of economic necessity, and I revel in the fact that these materials are free to all.

Nightmare Movie, Collage, watercolor, and drawing, 18 x 24 inches, 2020

 A range of textures and imagery nettle framed binaries, including the natural and human-made, presence and absence, personal and political, and gender. Through unexpected aesthetic juxtapositions, I both depict and critique our visually saturated world. By meshing printmaking methods, collage, drawing, and writing, I manipulate fixed elements to suggest individual and collective responses to the power structures which shape our daily lives. With emphasis on art as a mystical, transformative experience, I require it to be borderless, and adaptable to its surroundings and confines. I believe art ought to be an activity for all as well as a means of articulation, unification, and understanding.”

See more of Kaplan’s work on his website and Instagram page.

Nitin is a visual designer, gallery artist, and community arts activist. Past desk-oriented posts include: PBS, Digitas, K12, Inc., Fox News, The Wall Street Journal and Sesame Workshop International....

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