Michael Polomik’s depictions of humans ride the line between corporeal and divine.
Polomik’s work in his new show, “The Piercing Gaze of Royalty,” is on display in the Nicholson Gallery at the Carrboro ArtsCenter through the end of February. It depicts both paintings and drawings by the artist with one central theme in mind: the human condition’s attempt to reach a divine state.
Polomik, who grew up in a religious environment, said that he was exposed to biblical paintings of the human figure while he was growing up, which depicted humans trying to reach divinity, or a higher status.
“A lot of what I pay close attention to is classical realism paintings, mainly because they depict humans as becoming something greater than themselves,” he said.
This was the inspiration behind the conception of his characters, many of which are perpetually in a state of flux between being worldly and divine.
“I want to compare their status to the process of bettering themselves,” Polomik said. “I think of them as becoming divine, like in a transformative state.”
Polomik said that the title, “The Piercing Gaze of Royalty,” is representative of the main theme behind his work, which involves human beings becoming something bigger than themselves.
Heather Gerni, gallery coordinator at the ArtsCenter, was responsible for organizing the exhibit. Gerni said she admired the fantastical quality behind Polomik’s art.
“It has a surreal quality to it that is very interesting, kind of like a dreamlike quality.”