Los Angeles artist, sculptor, and designer Matt Paweski wasn't raised in Southern California, though he identifies strongly with the pull of the western United States. The Detroit native, who grew up in Phoenix, denies categorization within the current LA aesthetic ("I feel that things are far too broad these days to try to define my and others' work that way") but admits that the city's "scale of things, the space, the light and climate really help" to contextualize his body of sculptural, furniture-influenced pieces, all made from painted birch plywood with steel and enamel accents.
Paweski received a BFA from Arizona State and an MFA, studying painting and sculpture, from Art Center College if Design. After school, he went to work as a carpenter, cabinetmaker, and welder, which has influenced the rough, DIY-style sculpture he now fabricates in his studio. He also credits the influence of two mentors: William Prokes, a "designer/builder/potter/wizard who owned a specialized sign shop in Phoenix" who taught Paweski the techincal and problem-solving aspects of design, as well as Los Angeles-based artist and sculptor Evan Holloway.
Paweski says of his current solo projects, sculptures with a basis in two-dimensional drawing: "The sculptures build volume through slight shifts in plane, in physical cuts in material and the colors layered over them. The works continually reference aspects of furniture as a starting point, both structurally and materially." Photographer Brian W. Ferry, who recently shot Stephen Burks in his studio for Dwell, visited Paweski at work and shared these photos.
Kelsey Keith has written about design, art, and architecture for a variety of print and online publications.