Preston Pannek is a multidisciplinary artist whose works reflect the movements of his life such as his passion for music and expression of creativity through unique material. Pannek is a self-taught artist emerging from the vast Dallas Arts scene that has inspired him to dedicate himself to the arts. The passion for his works is evident in his processes of creation, applying intimate experiences with the canvas to execute delicate practices. His works allow viewers to express their own unique feelings by reacting to the color, form, and size without influence from the author through title or objectivity. In this way, the works are not only a representation of expression of Pannek himself, but a representation of the viewer as well.
Pannek’s work is currently on view in a massive exhibition of his paintings ranging from media and time at LAB ART in Dallas, Texas. With over 58 works on view, this exhibition titled “Pieces of Me” will allow viewers to get to know Pannek’s past and present artistic narratives. All of the works in conversation with each other truly represent his life as an artist. In conversation with the artist, he states, “Each series is unique, but the viewer can see a full range of my work.” Also, due to it’s powerful impact, LAB ART is extending the viewership of Pannek’s exhibition. Be sure to see it before it comes down.
At what point in your life did you begin identifying yourself as an artist?
I started identifying as an artist at a very early age, I believe it was before I was 10 years old. My father is very into the arts scene here and an avid collector, so when I showed interest in art he really pushed me to pursue it. I’m very glad he did!
How have you seen your relationship with art develop since then?
It’s grown into a passion, a love, and a lifestyle. It’s all I know. I draw inspiration from everything in my life, everything surrounding the people in my life, nature, and just my own ideas and visions. I’ve made art more of a lifestyle than just a hobby and look forward to people seeing my work in “Pieces of Me.” I’m very proud of this series of paintings.
Who or what were some positive influences in your life that have inspired your creative process?
My childhood best friend Jarrod Fresquez and, of course, my girlfriend Lauren Taylor are two huge positive influences in my life. Their work ethic is inspiring. Being that they’re not visual artists themselves, I wouldn’t say that they’ve influenced me creatively, but I look up to them and they’re a big part of my life. They’re also entirely honest with me and I value their opinions. They serve as a good sounding board for ideas and visions. If they don’t like a certain piece I paint or style of work, I can count on them to tell me the truth about what exactly they don’t like about it. Even though constructive criticism is sometimes hard for me to swallow, I can count on them to be honest with me no matter what.
What other artists or movements have you drawn inspiration from?
I’m obsessed with Jackson Pollock, not only his art but the movement he created and his undeniable confidence. His chaotic style mesmerizes me. Most people don’t realize what goes into a painting like his and I feel like the process is harder to conceptualize than what people give him credit for. When some people see a Pollock painting, they’re like “I can do that,” but I see more than just paint drips on canvas. I see his emotion, blood, sweat and tears in every single one. It’s fascinating.
You spoke a lot about your musical influences when we met. Can you explain how it directly relates to the movement and visual development of your work?
Music is like my constant variable, something to keep me in the same frame of mind while I create – from beginning to end I listen to a track, often EDM, on repeat. Being a former musician myself, music is a huge part of what I do. Ultimately, I’d love to make the creation of my work more of a performance piece, set to music and the beats. Music creates a safe place for me to create in my studio. I feel like I can somehow control the outcome of a painting if I have that constant to work to, like the beat of an EDM track as I drop paint onto a canvas.
You showed me work before that uses elements such as fire, water, and mud – all are unique media for a contemporary artist. What inspires your use of materials?
Curiosity often helps me discover new mediums to work with – What if? Why not? comes to mind as I encounter new materials in my everyday life. Materials I find in everyday activities or walking around Home Depot, for example, I look down the aisle and think about painting as I’m working on construction projects around my Deep Ellum loft. It was originally a blank space, a warehouse, completely un-livable. I turned it into our space and my studio.
How have these materials inspired your exploration of media – either visceral, aesthetic, physical, etc.?
The mineral series, for example, came to me while tiling a kitchen way back. I thought to myself, why not play around with this and acrylic and paint? The materials I come across inspire different series of art in themselves. Every single series I create almost always developed from an experiment or happy accident that I discovered while creating a previous series.
Have you explored any other media that might have influenced your practices?
Not really. I’m a painter primarily, but I’m inspired by new materials around me, rocks, water, etc. I mix these into my work and try to control the result as much as possible.
When you create your works, you have a very intimate experience – using your hands and allowing your movements to influence its outcome. What kind of experience are you hoping viewers to walk away with after seeing your work?
I want my viewer to feel like I’m looking into a mirror. I want to inspire change and a feeling inside of them, everyone being different, even if it’s just for a moment. Every series has its own purpose. The “Untitled Series,” though, is more focused on symmetry and my own made up hieroglyphics and shapes. I rarely name my works, this is a way for me to not impose a name on a viewer before they can create their own opinions or feelings about my work. I feel that this method helps the viewer learn more about themselves and have a more personal connection to the painting, like an inkblot or Rorschach effect. Whatever the viewer thinks they see is a view of them, an internal process. I didn’t put the image in the painting; you found the image in your head.
This solo exhibition with LAB ART will feature a large amount of works, ranging in styles and time periods. What is the importance of having each of these works in communication with each other?
You can’t touch everyone with the same piece. By having 50 of them out there, maybe I can make enough of an impact. Each series is unique, but the viewer can see a full range of my work that night. I don’t have to edit down the process to a smaller amount of work this time, so I’m putting it all out there. It’s important for me to show the Dallas art community that I can make a variety of art, this show really puts my full skill set out there. Each series and painting is a progression and redevelopment.
Why is having this communication with viewers important to you?
I like to hear from the viewer how a piece makes them feel, especially because each person looks at a piece and feels something entirely different. Art is all I know. I can’t explain it, the same way that a bird chooses to fly instead of walk, that’s all he knows and art is all I know. Art is my entire life. I love everything about creating art and how it helps people find out more about themselves. Too me, art is magical.
Last modified: December 11, 2015