Please click on thumbnails to see the full art work.
Karl Rudziak paints portraits of people to inform his growing need to understand the environment of Portsmouth, a city he has lives in all his life. To challenge his own – and other peoples – assumptions about culture within his home city.
His work is essentially about people. Rudziak is interested in confirmation bias – the mechanisms we use to project values on to or judge people using common cultural visual markers – clothes, haircuts, jewellery, tattoos based on pre-existing beliefs. How quickly we arrive at value statements and judgements about personality and background by the way someone looks. “Painting people is a way of connecting to my environment in way I could never say or write down in words. It is about identity, questioning and challenging assumptions of cultural signposts such as race, gender, class”.
His current body of work is a project called We Don’t Need Culture. Based in and around the Portsmouth in association with Portsmouth City Council and Arts Council England, the aim is to expose working arts practice to local people using portraiture as a tool for a re-examination of the word ‘culture’. To examine the difference between the ideals and the reality of social structures that culture represents.
Rudziak has been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Society of Marine Artists and The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and is featured in the book 500 portraits: BP Portrait Award by Sandy Nairn.