In the quiet corners of Connecticut, artist Mathew Kocenko has spent a lifetime crafting a visual narrative that transcends the boundaries of conventional art. Born and raised in the state, Kocenko’s journey is as much about self-discovery as it is about breaking free from the constraints of a challenging childhood. With no formal lessons but an innate passion for creation, Kocenko’s work, particularly highlighted in his two-canvas set, “Blue Pill” and “Red Pill,” offers viewers a glimpse into a world where perception is everything.
Kocenko’s upbringing, marked by financial struggles, served as a crucible that shaped the artist he is today. Leaving Connecticut at the tender age of 17, he embarked on a path of self-discovery and resilience. These formative experiences resonate through his artwork, providing a raw authenticity that is palpable in each brushstroke.
The two-part canvas set, titled “Self Portrait” serves as a visual manifesto of Kocenko’s perspective on life. The title itself invokes thoughts of introspection and identity, echoing the philosophical dilemma presented in the iconic “red pill or blue pill” scenario. Through these canvases, Kocenko invites viewers to ponder the fundamental questions that shape our existence: the future and the mysterious force that allows us to create images without conscious thought.
The first canvas, “Blue Pill,” captures the essence of conformity and acceptance of the status quo. Bathed in cool hues, the canvas reflects a world where illusions are embraced, and reality is veiled. Kocenko’s brush dances across the canvas, creating a delicate interplay of light and shadow that hints at the complexity of the human psyche. It is a silent commentary on the comfort found in ignorance, a respite from the unsettling truths that lie beneath the surface.
In stark contrast, the second canvas, “Red Pill,” emerges as a self-portrait that goes beyond the physical likeness of the artist. It is Kocenko unplugged, detached from the societal lies and illusions that bind the masses. The warm tones evoke a sense of awakening and liberation, symbolizing the artist’s rebellion against a world built on falsehoods. This canvas is a testament to Kocenko’s refusal to be confined by societal norms, an unapologetic declaration of authenticity.
One striking aspect of Kocenko’s artistic approach is his emphasis on lighting. In his own words, “Lighting is a huge part of my art. The difference in light color is the difference between dimensions.” This focus on light becomes evident in the nuanced interplay of colors within his canvases. It is not merely a tool to illuminate his subjects but a means to convey the shifting dimensions of reality and perception.
Kocenko’s decision to paint without formal instruction adds a layer of spontaneity and rawness to his work. Each stroke is a personal expression, an unfiltered reflection of his emotions and experiences. This lack of formal training becomes a strength, allowing Kocenko to channel his authenticity onto the canvas without the constraints of predetermined techniques or styles.
As viewers delve into the world of Mathew Kocenko, they are confronted with more than just aesthetically pleasing visuals. His art becomes a mirror, reflecting the universal struggles of self-discovery, the quest for truth, and the courage to break free from societal norms.
In the end, Mathew Kocenko’s canvases are not just paintings; they are portals into a realm where perception shapes reality, and authenticity is the compass guiding us through the intricate tapestry of existence.