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Steve Galiczynski demonstrates his artistic prowess in the Modern Wing.

NEW YORK, New York –In 1984, artist Steve Galiczynski moved to New York to become an actor. Little did he realize at the time that he would also become an artist whose work would be embraced by some of the city’s most respected institutions in the new millennium.


While our world has been grappling with the isolation of the pandemic, Galiczynski has responded to this crisis as any artist would. He has been creating. And the art he has created has caught more than the attention of New York’s cognoscenti—they have embraced it. Last Spring, Galiczynski submitted different work to various art competitions and had three separate pieces selected by three different city institutions throughout the year.


Galiczynski’s first submission was to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is celebrating its 150th Anniversary. What does an art museum with one of the world’s most respected collections do to observe its sesquicentennial?  Request more art, of course. The Met put out the call for designs in any media or form to help it celebrate this grand moment.  Galiczynski’s silkscreen print was selected as a top ten finalist.


As with so many things waylaid by the pandemic, The Met’s plans to announce its selection in June was pushed back to August. The competition’s panel of judges included city luminaries, Chirlane McCray, Anna Wintour, and Zac Posen.


Titled Modern Madonnas:  A Statement on Racial Tolerance & Female Empowerment, Galiczynski used abstract design to explore race and gender equality, subjects that are such a large part of our nation’s current political dialogue. At first glance, one sees six boxes, each filled with a series of triangles and circles but, as with any provocative art piece, those basic shapes take a new form, in this case, that of a mother cradling her child. The shapes in each box are rendered in the basic colors that make up the skin types of our diverse world, a world that is very much at home in New York City.


While awaiting the outcome of The Met’s anniversary contest, Galiczynski responded to another call for artistic commentary by The Rockefeller Center.  The world-famous office complex in Midtown, known for its court of 193 international flags that fly around its skating rink & seasonal dining area, asked artists to design flags based on the themes of love, unity and diversity while celebrating any aspect of New York City. Over 1,200 artists from around the nation and the world submitted designs by the June 30 cutoff.



For his submission, Galiczynski decided to take his design of Modern Madonnas in a different direction. He created a similar composition to celebrate New York’s glorious cultural diversity, but this time the madonnas were in four panels and the design hewed closer to the vexillological ideas that shape all flag designs.


In July, The Rockefeller Center chose 180 original works from the among the many submissions and Galiczynski’s More Modern Madonnas was one of them. The center had each winning design made into an 8’ X 5’ flag and flew all of them in its courtyard from August 1 to 16 in a public art installation, along with 13 flags designed by noted city artists like Jeff Koons, Christian Siriano and Laurie Anderson. The exhibit was just the tonic city residents needed as they came out of their quarantine, and because of its popularity, The Rockefeller Center extended the run of the show one week.


Before these competitions even started, Galiczynski had already been selected as Artist of the Month by The New York Public Library (NYPL) for the month of April. The art is usually exhibited at the St. Agnes Library location but, due to the coronavirus, the Library decided the showing of Galiczynski’s work would be online. For this exhibit, Galiczynski created ten paintings of ocean panoramas in varying shades of blue. To accompany Galiczynski’s work, the Public Library selected eight novels that tell stories with beach settings, giving his paintings a fully rounded experience.


Remaining in constant motion, Galiczynski has reached out to the Central Park Conservancy with samples of sketches he has done of beautiful locales in the city’s park system. The Conservancy liked what they saw and have asked him to stay in contact as they examine their needs at the beginning of the new year.


All this attention has been heartening to Galiczynski, who freelances and does commissioned artwork. “I feel that I have finally found my own artistic idiom,” he said. “All of this positive feedback from these respected institutions has made me feel that I’ve developed a style that is accessible, while maintaining an artistic integrity.”


Galiczynski might demur at being called a renaissance man but with a résumé that covers various disciplines of arts and culture, it is a befitting title. Growing up as the fifth of seven children in Philadelphia, his father, William, was a grocery truck driver. But it was his mother, Connie, who gave him his artistic side. A portrait painter herself, she always had art media at hand for young Stephen to use and explore his talent. Adding to the luster of this success, Galiczynski gained representation from Peg Alston Fine Arts Gallery on the Upper East Side.


A graduate of LaSalle University with a degree in Russian studies, Galiczynski spent his junior year in Switzerland, and honed his language skills as a post-graduate in St. Petersburg. After returning to the United States, he worked for a while in Washington, D.C. before moving to New York to be an actor. His acting career brought him a diverse array of parts like the soap opera One Life to Live and the Adam Sandler movie Big Daddy. Ironically, he was also a stand-in for actors of the tv series 30 Rock, giving him the unique designation of a being a person who has created art inside and outside the city institution. His artistic experience comes full circle with synchronicity.



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