Martha Ulakovits-Conceptual Artist

I don’t remember a time when I didn’t make art. It has always been a part of what I do.  I began my formal training as a pre-law student but with my first design class, I knew this was what I was meant to do.  Since that time my studies in art have taken me from the academic formalism at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio to the ever so edgy conceptualism at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida.  After earning a B.F.A. in studio art, I continued my studies at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, Arrowmont and various workshops… B.F.A –Miami U., M.A.- UF.

My passion for art has also led me to share it with others through teaching and giving workshops.  I taught art in the Florida public school system for 15 years and continue to teach for St. Leo University as an adjunct.

This passion also leads me to dialogue with other like-minded individuals.  I am an active member of several central Florida art groups and international online art exchanges.

As a fulltime artist, I have participated in various juried exhibits, fine arts festivals and group shows primarily in the state of Florida.  I am represented by All About Art Gallery in Belleview, Florida.

I love figurative work and enjoy working with conte and pastels using a model at least once a week.  These vigorous sessions inform my conceptual multi media pieces.  The current series has morphed into an audio inclusion.  To reach the intensity needed to begin each piece, I dialogue using pictorial resources for a point of entry.  This dialogue is recorded and though not displayed with the piece, is nonetheless, part of the piece.  It is the part of the work that I keep with me when the visual pieces are on exhibit.  At the culmination of the series, all the work including the audiotapes will be available for small group shows.

Artists Statement

My work is not pretty and I am not pretty.  That is not to say that we do not have worth.  To discover that worth, you have to spend some time and make a spiritual/intellectual/emotional investment of yourself.  The horrendous events of my early life have informed and transformed my expectations.  As a survivor, my work reflects my introspection as well as my interpretation of the survival of humankind-who we are and why we do what we do to ourselves and each other and our internal mechanisms of survival.  As a conceptual artist, I intend to provoke thought and emotions.  My pieces are not complete without the emotional interaction of people.

The Current Series

The current series “Survivor” is an emotional exploration into the created mechanisms and mindsets of survivors. Each piece begins with a moment in time captured and preserved by a photograph. The photographic image is fixed to the canvass and becomes part of the piece. The work evolves around and is birthed by this image. Some of the work is more interactive than others. “I Must Rescue Me,” is a piece that requires the viewer to put on a headset and listen to an audio recording while viewing a painted canvass. Rather than explain what is being seen, the tape is a part of the piece. “You Lose!” provokes physical interaction. A photograph of a young child in an awkward stance is visually buried beneath a huge blackness. Shadowy colors like muted voices surface intermittently. Underneath this canvass is a table containing a deck of cards. The cards are placed on the table mimicking a game of solitaire and the viewer is encouraged to play a hand. Each card has an embossed image of the photograph on the back and the words “YOU LOSE!” on the front. The four suits are indicated by symbols that represent love, money, health, and happiness.

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