"Merlin the Albino Buck" John Kowalczyk Chicago, IL

John Kowalczyk, an identical twin himself, frequently features themes of twins/symmetry/doubles in his work. He chose this zig-zag section of wall on the west wall of the Alley to feature this dream-like composition of two albino bucks, facing one another in symmetry. This mural was painted in September 2016 as part of the Black Cat Alley’s very first mural festival.

John Kowalczyk describes his art as "shrine-like, shiny, symmetrical, and seductive figurations that become maps of my mind combining myth, math, and magic." His work is comprised of mixed media paintings and larger than life installations that incorporate vintage fabrics, thrift store treasures, gift wrap, shelf liner, string, ribbon, repurposed drawings, glitter and gold. The collaged elements of his paintings become more than the sum of their parts exhibiting a spiritual nature. Born in Chicago in 1988, John Kowalczyk currently lives and works in Milwaukee, WI as an artist, curator, and educator. Kowalczyk received his BFA in painting from Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 2010, and began a three year residency with RedLine Milwaukee soon after, where he curated gallery shows and taught workshops. He currently is the Artist in Residence Program Director for Artists Working in Education, where he facilitates and oversees large scale community and public art projects throughout the city of Milwaukee. Kowalczyk’s work has been exhibited at the Sienna Art Institute in Italy, The Charles Allis Art Museum, The Harley Davidson Museum, The Cedarburg Cultural Center, and The Museum of Wisconsin Art along with other galleries across the U.S.