In this series we look at the incredible, large scale oil paintings of fruit by Ohio artist, Dennis Wojtkiewicz. While the realism is impressive, it’s Wojtkiewicz’ use of light and translucence that allows each painting to take on a meditative quality.
Attracted to the inside of pieces of everyday fruit—the seeds, veins, and the translucent flesh and color changes—Dennis renders them in large-scale using oil on canvas. The most amazing aspect, though, is not only the detail of each piece, but the way he incorporates a light effect that makes them seem to glow from the surface.
“Each painting is constructed by beginning with a monochrome underpainting in the complement of the featured subject. Subsequent layers of semi-opaque through to transparent colors follow with up to ten passes before the end result is achieved. The process is in essence a modified version of techniques used by Northern European Masters, Vermeer being of the greatest in influence.”
The series explores the passing of time, where each piece of ripe fruit is captured at its best before it ultimately decomposes. Wojtkiewicz explains, “There are a number of elements in the visual undertow which can function as metaphor or serve to represent themes such as spirituality, relationships (or lack thereof), reproduction and, generally speaking, the transitory nature of all living things.” He continues, “When I go into the studio it is with the intent of imbuing the paintings with a living spirit and to realize something that will connect with the viewer on a sensual if not metaphysical plane.”
Wojtkiewicz lives and works in Bowling Green, Ohio. He is a Professor at Bowling Green State University where he has taught painting and drawing in the School of Art since 1988 and his work has been in an impressive list of exhibits, collections and publications.