Interview: Waldek Dynerman

Feb. 22, 2009
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After graduating from the Warsaw Fine Arts Academy in 1974, Walder Dynerman eventually left his homeland of Poland to arrive in 1983 America with the offer of a two-year guest fellowship at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. The fellowship evolved into a full time position where Dynerman now teaches drawing, printmaking and painting and for the following 33 years, Milwaukee became a new home where he lives with his wife and son. His current installation titled "Train Project" at UW-Milwaukee's Union Art Gallery combines found objects, toy parts, sculpture, and videograghy that delves into his unique European heritage, which influencing his art enhanced with a touch of Dadaism . Dynerman reflects on this inspiring

Q: You talk about your family history influencing your art. What specifically do you mean?

A: I'm Jewish. And my grandparents and father were survivors of the Holocaust. A Polish

family hid them in their basement, a cellar really, for over two years they lived in a ten by

twelve room. But the three survived the Holocaust and war. This most generally inform what I am doing today.

Q: The exhibit is dedicated to your Uncle Chaim, also a Holocaust survivor?

A: Yes, my father was a tinmaker in Warsaw, and made milk cans. My mother was sent

to forced labor at the age of 14. My uncle survived the Holocaust in Russia, and then after

losing his son and his son's mother, eventually traveled to Israel where I visited him in 90's. The toy Eiffel tower was something he gave to me to remind us of ordinary life. He also owned a tin shop in Israel. And I was born in Poland, six years after World War II ended, hearing all these stories. They influence my growing up more than I thought.

For insight into Dynerman's "Train Project" read Wednesday's blog..


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