Sculpted: Histories Revealed (2014 Exhibition)About the Artist: "Living life to the fullest is about living through my passion", according to Paul Steinkoenig. "It seems the three professional degrees I have earned have not given me that life of passion. Fortunately for me, I realized that I am happiest when I am creating art." In the past Steinkoenig has worked in places that many people would not even care to visit. Some of the hardest and most difficult categories of people that exist have challenged him and fueled his creative spirit. Gang-bangers, murderers, and rapists in maximum security prisons; schizophrenic and mentally disturbed patients in big-city crisis units and hospital emergency rooms; terrorists and warlords in remote and highly dangerous areas in developing countries where even the U.S. military dares not set foot—working with people in places such as these has given him insight into himself and human nature. He now enjoys portraying beauty and balance through his art as a way to rearrange some of the chaos that he has experienced. Formally studying art has worked its way into several eras of his life. He has studied not only sculpting, but photography as well. Many years ago he tailored his master’s degree at the Boston University School of Theology to include photographic arts. Some of his favorite times in seminary were spent exploring old cemeteries late at night with his dog, a flashlight, and his Nikon. His love of protecting the environment has given him reason to look at the materials he uses in a new way. Many of his works are made from salvaged or recycled resources. He was fortunate to grow up with a father who taught him that he can accomplish and create many wonderful things with his hands. He started woodworking at age five under his father's guidance. Since then he has enjoyed many years of creating with wood—including sculpture and unique furniture. As a young adult he added metal sculpting to his repertoire. "Life gets away too quickly not to live inside of the passion that makes my heart beat faster", he says. "Creativity is one of the aspects that I most value about who I am. I am pleased to live in this moment by creating through my art."
My art frequently explores the search for balance. Balance creates harmony between opposing forces in nature, between personalities, and in life. The search for balance in my art comes in many forms; sometimes it is a blending of the finely polished and the coarsely constructed. Or I strive for harmony expressed through posture and movement—like the dance between two delicate curves finding their moment together. Another of my artistic desires is to explore hidden details that suddenly show themselves. I enjoy discovering beauty in unexpected places and recapturing that beauty in my artwork. I don’t always want the viewer to know exactly where I got the inspiration, but rather to see many possible explanations in the work itself. The materials I use tend to be metals and woods of various types. I also combine glass and sometimes-odd materials to create just the right image. In getting to know my raw materials, I like to present them in a manner that maximizes their strengths and unique characteristics. I find the use of various materials to be freeing and don’t like to limit my work to only one medium. Life can be chaotic and not always pretty to look at. Striving to include balance and beauty in my work gives me a sense of accomplishing something worth doing. It gives me hope. - Paul Steinkoenig