DAVID M GYSCEK
After more than a decade in academia, David Gyscek is now an independent artist and consultant living and working between New York and Medellín, Colombia with his partner, Juan Pablo Lopera.
Prior to this new phase, Gyscek taught all levels of digital photography as both an Assistant Visiting Professor (2014-2015) and a Visiting Artist (Summers 2013-2015) at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. He also taught analog & digital photography as well as open media courses at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA as a Visiting Assistant Professor (2011-2014) and the Visual Arts Studio Coordinator & Lecturer (2004-2011).
He fears he may have placed too much emphasis on academic credentials and experience, over the years – more grounded in the academy than in the studio.
Born in 1974 on Long Island, more closely connected to the shore than to the city, Davey/Dave/David is the middle of three. He's always been (a-little-more-than-passively) interested in his genealogy, but recently that interest has become more active. He had a happy childhood, with a close group of neighborhood & school friends – some of whom he remains close to – playing pick-up basketball, stickball in the street out front, manhunt at night, and clandestine midnight bike rides. Summers involved weeks on end at the beach with annual lobster feasts with family friends and his maternal grandmother and, for a period, step-grandfather. (His paternal grandfather died when D was only 2.) There, on Marratooka Point, D & his friends would spend their days boating, swimming, taking long walks to "the mansion," sailing to Robbins Island to climb its dunes (ecologically, not a great idea) and then leap from the top, throwing themselves at gravity's mercy, tumbling down to the shore again. Their days were filled with adventures and dramas, imaginatively enhanced.
Throughout high school, D was active in the Student Government, although never won any elected positions and not for the lack of trying, and in his local (RC) church. He was indeed quite devout – a product of the active embrace of his upbringing and familial influence. Ironically, it wasn't until his freshman year at Holy Cross when his faith began to falter and his sophomore year when it finally expired.
After graduating from Holy Cross and spending a year teaching English in Korea, D returned to Massachusetts for the opportunity to live with his intellectual, creative, and life mentor, Jody Ziegler. In exchange for his labor helping to restore her ca. 1840 "Old Parsonage" in Douglas, MA, he was given room and board and, importantly, studio space in the barn and space in the dirt-floor basement for a make-shift darkroom. Over the course of the next year, he learned about the good life – good food, good drink, good company, good work – while developing his first adult body of work of constructed analog (the year was 1997/8) photographs and sculptures in concrete and/or steel. (Some if this work can be seen in the Archive section of the Studio page.) Having that time, outside of any institutional support, but with invaluable support coming from Jody, D could clearly imagine himself as an artist. Surely, it was this time and the resulting exhibition, Rhapsody of a Burnt Dancer, that allowed him to push ahead and enroll in the prestigious Masters program at Goldsmiths in London.
To be continued...