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Zoe Pawlak

Posted by Kate Singleton on


Where are you from originally and where do you live now?

I am from a suburb of Vancouver and now live in Vancouver.



What are some things that you've been inspired by lately?

I am really inspired by the online initiative taken by Jayson Musson. Jayson is the creator of Hennessy Youngman, the front man and persona in the series Art Thoughtz. Jayson reaches thousands of people through taking on big topics like "What is art?" and "What is Beauty?" and using the internet as his main form of expression. I am especially inspired recently by M.I.A. who is a fashion and music trendsetter. She is also a mother which I deeply respect and I love how she uses hip-hop music and her online presence to speak to issues happening in the third world and to women. That lady has taken her personal struggle and overcome, using her experiences and eventual fame, for good. 

Carry What You Can


Your work spans a range of subjects and themes. Do you alternate between themes based on things like mood?

Having had my children right out of art school, I quickly came to know that I wanted to make a career of painting. My work appears varied in subject and theme because I spend a lot of time working on commissions for private clients and interior designers and am not always able to fully dedicate myself to a practice that is solely obedient to artistic intuition or a larger body of work that might take up months at a time. The unifying theme in my work is that it is about the human experience. My figurative work especially expresses what is means to live in this time, in our bodies and the emotional experiences we share.

"It Broke And Then All The Land Was Plenty." "Saloman."


To me these painting express an exquisite beauty and an incompleteness or longing. What are your thoughts on this series?

Yes. My experience in life has always been one of longing or an incompleteness and this is what I see most often unexpressed in others. I spent a good 6 years studying the nude and when you look at the body, the nude figure is really the greatest venerability you can witness here on earth. We are all trying to act a certain way, or trying to keep it together, or hold on, not let people in and so on, so my work is about that, trying to carry too much or be too much, but really we are so transparent.

Keep Your Hand Out Of The Water


I am very inspired by the Vancouver annual art show The Cheaper Show. Can you share the experience of TCS with us?

To be at the Cheaper Show was always so much fun. The level of hype and ecstatic energy of thousands of people in one room at a time was immense. It was really equal to that of a concert, but at an art show! It was a pleasure to work on that show. TCS taught me about building a real community of dedicated people, the importance of a really strong, consistent brand and standing by certain principles that put forward the highest quality of art work first and foremost. It really became a larger than life show in Vancouver and has been an inspiration internationally.

Do you collect art yourself? If so what's one of your favorite pieces?

Yes. I own pieces by Jessica Bell, Fiona Ackerman, Amber Albrect, Hannah Hughes, I have a large Frida and Diego above my bed by a Montreal Artist, Richard Benoit. I am most excited about the Ed Pien I bought this year and look forward to continuing to build my collection. Collecting has taught me the most about what owning my work must mean to my clients.


Zoe Pawlak

Images: Jamie Mann (first image) and Tracey Ayton Photography.


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