Today we’d like to introduce you to Lee Piechocki.
So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am a studio artist with a focus on painting. I have been painting most of my life and received a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2015. After graduation, I quickly moved across the country to Los Angeles. Since arriving in LA, I have had studios all over the city, starting in Sherman Oaks, Filipino Town, and now Lincoln Heights. To survive in LA I have always had a day job in addition to my studio practice. For my first three years here, I worked as an artist assistant for Mark Grotjahn. I learned much about the LA art world while working with Mark. I have also worked as an art handler and installation specialist which introduced me to many other artists, collectors and art institutions around this city. As of March 2020, I am a full-time studio artist.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
For many years, being a studio artist was equal to having two full-time jobs. An actual full-time job to pay bills and 25 – 40 hrs a week in the studio, working on paintings and applying for opportunities. This demand on time has been the biggest challenge for me.
Piechocki Studio – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I am a studio painter, a business of 1. I wear many hats: I make paintings, research materials and techniques, maintain a website and social media, apply for opportunities and am my own PR and sales team. I make small watercolor paintings which, during the COVID-19 Stay at Home Mandate have functioned as a journal and historical record of this unique moment. I also make larger acrylic and oil paintings on canvas, oftentimes employing an airbrush. My work sets my business apart. It is a unique combination of realism and abstraction.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
During the first weeks of COVID-19 Stay Home Mandate in California (end of March 2020) I created a painting of the USNS Mercy hospital ship arriving in Los Angeles Harbor. This painting was purchased by the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art and will be featured in an exhibition and book about the pandemic.