For a long time you could find Rafal Gotowicz’s “Mr. Clumsy” works at ZaPow in downtown Asheville. It is here where The Asheville Post Editor in Chief Tim W. Jackson fell in love with the silly character with the sheepish grin; so much so that his wife bought a Mr. Clumsy print for Valentine’s Day. So who is the artist behind Mr. Clumsy? Born in Mogilno, Poland, this part-time Asheville resident isn’t a one-trick pony. Beyond the lovable Mr. Clumsy, Rafal tackles varied subjects and sells his works internationally. Learn more about Rafal here as he is our guest in “5 Questions.” And for even more information about Rafal, check out his website at gotowiczart.com.
One thing that you’re known for is your “Mr. Clumsy” series. How did that come about (and is there a real inspiration for Mr. Clumsy)?
I assume that everyone was once in love. That state of mind, feeling, and funkiness—I do want to evoke and capture in the “Mr Clumsy” character.
You also create other fine art. What can you tell us about your landscapes, pet portraits, and other works?
Slavic soul, wildlife, animals, big spaces. From an early age, the vast majority of my friends and family are the people associated with the forest and the animals. This all translates into a kind of art I do create.
You’re originally from Poland. What brought you to the U.S., and how did you settle in Asheville?
My daughter lives here. Her stories of this wonderful place accelerated my decision to come to the United States, and now it’s got to the point where I live and create in Asheville for more than six months out of the year. (Note: Rafal travels internationally quite a bit and spends considerable time annually in Poland where he has exhibitions in Inowroclaw, Wloclawek, and Torun.)
What do you enjoy about the art scene in Asheville?
Spontaneity and authenticity of the people who create here. A huge number of galleries and cultural events was a shock for me.
If you were not an artist, what profession do you think you might have chosen?
I would like to become a shepherd for wild turkeys on the hills around Asheville.