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Unexpected Aesthetic: The Art of Michael David Kozlowski

A painting made using bleach on raw canvasStill Think About You, bleached raw canvas (unwashed)

Michael David Kozlowski works in a painterly style using nontraditional painted materials such as bleach and plaster. The artist’s works have an unexpected aesthetic that is at times ghostly, and at times laden with heavy texture and suggested figure. 

A painting made using white plasterSomething Else


I find Michael’s bleach paintings to be a fascinating reimagining of the traditional paint-on-canvas mode of artmaking. In these pieces, the artist applies bleach directly to raw, unwashed canvas, leaving figurative images barely visible, rendered in strokes of pale beige just a shade lighter than the canvas’ natural tone. The subtlety of the medium forces viewers to stay with each piece longer, picking out details and moments that seem near to being lost. 

A screen capture of Michael David Kozlowski's art


Michael’s plaster paintings are almost opposite in their approach, and yet the effect feels oddly similar. In these, plaster is layered onto paintings to create deeply coloured and textured images that incorporate figurative and abstract images. Sometimes an extra moment of observation draws out figures where none initially appeared, while other times immediately recognizable forms turn out to be illusions.

A painting of two figures in bleach on raw canvasAfter, bleached raw canvas (unwashed)

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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