“On the Road” An Interview with Ted Stanuga

Untitled, 2021. Oil on canvas, 54 x 48 inches. Photo courtesy of the artist.

here is a certain restlessness that personifies the paintings of Ted Stanuga. From the early representational works, through the later abstractions, there is a speed and intensity to the painting, where act and thought, seem perpetually in motion. Like the characters Dean and Sal from Jack Kerouac’s book “On the Road,” the journey is the destination, with an endless horizon that forever remains in the distance. This is the pleasure of Ted’s paintings, a thin line where beauty is tenuous, and where the work travels through the rivers and valleys of generations before yet emerges with a voice distinctively his own.

Artists know each other through friendship and through their work. In most ways, we are each other’s first and perhaps most important audience, as our words of encouragement and questioning become the foundation of an ongoing dialogue that becomes part and parcel of the creative process.

Such is the case with Ted Stanuga. Upon my moving to Chicago in 1979, we shortly found ourselves as neighbors in Pilsen. Ted was working at the time as the crew manager at the MCA, and I had recently completed my MFA at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. Although our initial interests and experiences were quite different, the frequency of studio visits as well as a shared artistic community created both collegiality and comradery, as we were both beginning our careers.

Read the original article here…