Jon Pylypchuk

« Real art to me is individual problem solving and people do it every day.  They just don’t realize it.” 2008

Jon Pylypchuk’s work includes sculptures, paintings and drawings.  He was one of the founding members of the Royal Art Lodge in Winnipeg, a collective that included artists Michael Dumontier, Adrian Williams, Marcel Dzama, and others. 

Pylypchuck was born in Winnipeg in 1972, where he remained until the completion of his BFA from the University of Manitoba. He left Winnipeg in the late 1990’s to pursue an MFA at the University of California, Los Angeles graduating in 2001.

The constant in Pylypchuk’s varied production are a cast of characters that are somewhere between animal and human. These characters literally “hang out” in quasi-naturalistic, often derelict surroundings. The titles of his works are usually quite charged.  Pylypchuk uses of a range of materials in his work, from plywood, fabric, glue, resin and foam, to spray paint, glitter, steel, cotton and aluminum. He regularly scavenges for these resources, or purchases them inexpensively from hardware stores.

In Press a weight through life, and I will watch it crush you, 2006 an array of characters inhabit a slum-like shantytown. The piece was originally conceived for the inaugural exhibition of the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MoCAD) in 2006. The wood for the shantytown was collected by the artist from industrial sites in the Motor City, specifically from the grounds of the historic and now defunct Packard Motor Car manufacturing complex, and an abandoned tire factory.  In this work issues such as poverty and substance abuse fuse with a register of another order completely: the aesthetics of bricolage, puppetry and playfulness. Moments of hope and tenderness surface out of this merger.

Pylypchuk was a nominee for the Sobey award in 2009.