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Szkoła School
Mike Filipiuk

Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival
Featured Exhibition
Art Gallery of Mississauga, 2013

Art history is rich with images of the well-known and famous, yet Mark Filipiuk’s portraits are able to connect us with the stories of people from everyday life. One might wonder who informs the images in the artist’s work, while at the same time there is an uncanny fascination with the familiarity of the personalities depicted. The portraits are not of specific people; rather they are types of people, and we begin to wonder how and why we develop our own identity as youth. What is a portrait if it obscures the viewer’s knowledge of the subject? A collector of images and moments, Mark Filipiuk encourages us to think about adolescence and the human condition of being caught between childhood and adulthood. Youth culture is presented and examined with the underlying context of a shifting identity; distorted images of hairstyles, clothing, posture and facial expressions resonate through the metal medium. As a result, we somehow come to understand the emotion, confidence and fragility of the real and imagined sitter.