Fri, August 25 – Sat, October 7, 2017
Combining the traditional medium of acrylic paint with new technology, motorized parts, and LED lights, Piskoti’s works border on satire, while commenting on important social issues ranging from the death penalty to America’s eating habits.
After receiving his Masters in Art from Yale University, Jim Piskoti taught painting and printmaking at the California State University, Stanislaus in Turlock until his recent retirement in 2005. His large-scale paintings are meticulous depictions of the darker side of California life. Interactivity plays a key role in his mixed media work, as viewers activate sensors that set the work in motion. Since the audience becomes physically engaged with his ‘hands on’ work, they are forced to contemplate their own lifestyle choices and their relationship to Piskoti’s subjects.
Breaking from the typical rectangular format, Piskoti paints on wood and shapes each surface to suit the activities of his characters. Although Piskoti touches on difficult issues such as environmental destruction, social inequalities, and America’s dependence on technology, his work remains playful, as seen in his use of bright, pop art colors. His dynamic art is a testament to the fast paced life of the average American, in perpetual motion through challenging urban and suburban settings.
Piskoti’s painting titled, “Justice” is on display in the Crocker Art Museum’s The Californian art collection.