Meet the artist Ursula Sokolowska

Short summary about you?

I was born in Krakow, Poland in 1979 and immigrated to the USA with my mother when I was 5 years old. Istudied photography at Columbia College (1997-99), completing my BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2001.I currently reside and work in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. I am an artist, photographer and Iab assistant at Latitude Chicago.


CurrencyExchange UnionStreet Pilsen Chicago 2011 © Ursula Sokolowska

What is your art about?

I use photography (film and digital) with projections (35mm slide projector) and various light sources to examine consciousness and objectification.

How did you come to art, or how did art come to you?

My aunt was a costume designer and at times my caretaker when I was young. One of my early childhood memories is of being behind the scenes at a theater in Krakow, Poland and witnessing the many costume alterations my aunt was overseeing. With scissors in her hand she would make alterations to the many garments that the actors were wearing as they walked by her. The theater can be magical and seeing what makes part of that illusion happen had a profound effect on me. My father was also an actor and my grandfather a poet. My grandfather is the one responsible for giving me a point and shoot camera when I was 12.


Untitled32© Ursula Sokolowska

Has anything changed about your working processes during your artistic career?

Definitely! I think advances in technology have given more opportunities to artists in general. Even though I still use a film camera I’ve also incorporated the use of my phone camera. But besides the technical capabilities that have advanced I find myself more mindful in my approach towards what I’m producing and what I’m trying to say. When I was younger I was in my own way screaming to the world yet not offering more of a solution. I said “Here’s the problem, but I don’t know what to do about it”. Now I want more of a thoughtful confrontation with the idea and a better understanding. Making art is great, but making progress is better.


Tunnel© Ursula Sokolowska

Can you tell us a bit about your favourite artwork?

Right now I’ve been drawn to Sayako Sugawara’s photographic interpretations of landscape and objects. The images can lead one to question what is a landscape and what are we really seeing. I’m drawn to illusions, sometimes for the mire fact of deconstructing them.

Discover Ursula Sokolowska here

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