Philip Krejcarek is a Professor of Art at Carroll University, where he has taught since 1977. He was the Chairman of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts (2009-2014). He was awarded the Benjamin F. Richason Faculty Award for Teaching, Research, and Educational Innovation (1993).
He is the author of the books, DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY: A HANDS-ON INTRODUCTION (1997), and AN INTRODUCTION TO DIGITAL IMAGING (2003), both published by Delmar Learning/Thomson Learning. He is also the author of the novel, SYBIL (2018), which combines prose and short plays.
His work has been selected for national juried exhibitions and awards including: Kodak Photo Educator Scholarship, The Santa Fe Photographic Workshops (1993); Grand Prize, Faculty/Staff Portfolio, Photo Imaging Education Association, International Competition (2004); Fifth Annual Focal Point Gallery National Photography Competition, New York (1994); and Wisconsin Arts Board Individual Artist Program New Work Award (1993).
He was a visiting instructor at Lingnan University, Hong Kong (summer session, 2011).
He has had 19 one-person exhibitions and 9 two-person exhibitions. He is included in collections at the Milwaukee Art Museum, Denver Art Museum, Wustum Museum of Fine Arts and the Haggerty Museum of Art.
At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to become an artist? Did the realization emerge slowly?
I was in high school. My plan was to study architecture but after taking my first art class, I was hooked. I can even remember the day. I was carefully arranging pieces of material for a collage when the teacher came over to me and said, “You are being too fussy.” He then picked up the waste basket and dumped the contexts onto my canvas. “There. Move those around,” he said.
How did you evolve your style and favorite mediums?
The Surrealists were an influence upon my style early on. I am particularly interested in combining disparate objects. I was an art major in college when I took my first photography course. I knew almost immediately that was the medium for me.
What are your time management techniques? Do you have regular working hours...or favorite times to work?
I work on series in spurts. As an art professor, my days are often consumed with teaching. Summers and breaks are often my best times to create.
Do you work on more than one piece at a time, or primarily just on one?
I usually am working on multiple pieces in a series.
What would you say is your biggest influence -- that which keeps you working, regardless of all else, your most steadfast motivation?
I have been an artist all of my adult life. I cannot imagine a life where I wasn’t making something. That keeps me going.
Does trying something new and not knowing the rules -- the boundary pushing -- create anxiety or excitement in you? (Or both?)
Although I think my work is quite unconventional and I want to push boundaries about what art can be, I am quite conservative in my approaches. I embrace the principles of design and other traditions in the history of art. Breaking those perceived rules would be uncomfortable for me.
Do you enjoy having the "duality of both chaos and control" or are you happiest with a set plan?
I enjoy combining disparate elements in my photographs, but I always want to be very in control of their relationships.
Do you have any projects or events forthcoming?
I will have two photographs in the juried show, “Mannequins and Puppets,” November, 2019, Rome, Italy.
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