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Laser Buddha



Mongolian Shaman with Mask and Artifacts



Mongolian Shaman with Ear Ring



Mongolian Shaman with Drums and Crystals  



Mongolian Shaman with Uan Dynasty Silver Plate



Tuva Shaman with Falcon Head Dress



Korean Shaman with Crystals



Shiva Dancing in Chicago



Blu Ray Buddha With Necklace



Kwan Yin In Cyber Cloud



Kwan Yin Prayer Kite



Chinaberry Buddha With Mirrors



Buddha In the Light With Hildegard Music Spheres



Tara Trilogy I



Tara Trilogy II



Blue Buddha Warrior



All The Ming's Horses



Sendai Warrior With Gaman Frescoes



Blue Ray Buddha



Ancestors of the Light



Zen Pony With Dreamscape



Goddess of the Eternal Flame



Sisters of the Dance



Green Tara Rising






Tara and the Blue Stunde



Quartz Crystal Meditation



Sendai Portrait



Mongolian Shaman Bride



Amethyst Puja



The Visitation



Genghis In Green



Buddha With Bells



Flora Goddess Excavation



Buddha With Orange Dots



Sadhu In Space



Archeological Poem - Homage to John Donne



Mongolian Hunter With Eagles



Fishmonk With PTSD Brain Scan



Buddha on the Blue Line Metro - Los Angeles



Beauty and the Box With Chinese Pony



Buddha Dreams



Chief Seattle With Ear Rings



Mayan Stargazer With Planetery Map



Ascending Angel



Billie (Lady Day) Holiday



Miles (Buddha Man) Davis



Maya Angelou and Friend



Maya Angel-Goddess



John Lenon With Tonal Spheres



Angelic Ancestor in the Tatras



Kite Master - Hide and Seek


Broken and Healed

The compositions in these series' are similar in structure, but differ in color and narrative forms. The process is highly subjective and depends on the viewer's reaction to the forms both visceral and emotional. My search for the elusive colors of pain and the rightful ownership of healing has proven comforting, and at the same time ignites personal memories of physical injuries and emotional abuse.   I urge the viewer to participate in the healing process and experience the possibility of acknowledgement and forgiveness.

Ron Kowalke

[Curator's note: This Broken and Healed series below embodies the artist's evolution in coming to terms with serioius psychological and physical injuries befalling a beloved family member. In this case the art is both an exploration, and the actual agency of, emotional recovery.]

Broken and Healed - Series 1

  Matrix   Broken Raw  
Broken and Healed - Series 2

  Broken Raw   Healed  

Broken and Healed - Series 3

  Broken Raw   Healed  
Broken and Healed - Series 4

  Broken Raw   Healed  

Broken and Healed - Series 5

  Broken Raw   Healed  

Ron Kowalke 'transitioned' in March of 2021, having lived and worked for many years in Kailua on the island of Oahu.  He was also Professor emeritus in the Painting and Drawing Program at the University of Hawaii.

Artist’s Statement:


I have visited the great masters with a sense of awe, honor  and respect. I’ve answered the door of contemporary strangers knocking fiercely, hoping for integrity, sans politics, transparency, invention and profound musings.

I am inspired by the genius of Piero della Francesca, mystified by the Rorschachs of Max Ernst and the wondrous magical cubism of Walter Murch. 

The “Laser Buddha” painting was born partly from those metaphysical sparrings of Meister Eckhardt, Joseph Beuys, Rumi, Hildegard von Bingen, Karlfried Gras von Durheim.  Those, together with genealogical speculation and research in progress, suggest that the DNA bloodline of my maternal grandfather is related to both Chinese and Mongolian ancestry.

Prompted by the wizardly world of physics and visually entranced with the elegant art of the Himalayas, I plotted a strategy born of honoring both the spiritual resonance of the Dalai Lama and the cumulative sorcery of quantum physics.

Mounting the primordial “body electric” including our planetary system and sundry string, nano, and delusional theories of creation and evolution, the intriguing thought of the Buddhist philosophy of “living” matter suggested the surreal proposition that spiritual energy is equal to measurable physical energy.

Thus, the notion that a prayer wheel turning in Katmandu is equal in importance and substance to the recent “collider” event at CERN.

I pose the question of termites feasting away on a wood carving of a 15th century Burmese Tara figure.  Does the spiritual energy of millions of devotees equal that of an atomic bomb testing in the Bikini Islands, or an improvised explosive device in Baghdad?

Do the termites inherit the “manna” of the digestible wood or the altered state of wishes, dreams, plea’s, hope, forgiveness and confessions? Prayer flags waving in the Himalayas; is each flutter a prayer or possibly a call for peace or an ornament servicing the faithful.

Blatant curiosity lead to the Buddhists tradition of “relics” and “pearls” left by monks after cremation and en route to Nirvana? Certainly not the  bones of saints or faith warriors of the incense breathing and Gregorian chanting of my youth in Chicago.

The notion of transformation from flesh and bone to jewel like “artifacts”  left by the deceased holy one to be enjoyed for benefit of devotees ignited my curiosity and converted my sense of visual symbols, esoteric pictograms along with questions of spiritual metamorphosis.

The “Laser Buddha” painting was the catalyst for exploring other “eastern” caves of  mystery and intrigue which gave birth to a Kwan Yin meditation series along with Garden Buddhas, Hologram images and the Land of the Shaman expeditions.

Blu Ray Buddhas and Dancing Shivas in the making. 

August 12, 2010

(Curator's note: Lazer Buddha is the first in this intriguing series.)


Artist's resume:

Ron Kowalke was born on November 8,1936 in Chicago, Illinois. After graduation from Chicago Vocational High School, he spent two years at the School of the Art Institute and the University of Chicago. Following his graduation from Rockford College with a B.F.A. in 1959, he studied painting and sculpture at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan where he received an M.F.A. in 1960.

In the 60s, Ron taught art at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, and at the Swain School of Design in New Bedford, Massachusetts. In 1969, he joined the art faculty at the University of Hawaii where his is a professor in the Painting and Drawing Program.

Ron Kowalke's work is included in permanent collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Boston Public Library, the Library of Congress, the Honolulu Academy of Art, the Contemporary Museum in Honolulu, and the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. His career includes participation in more than one hundred solo and group shows. Kowalke exhibits in the United States and in Europe, including Germany, France and Poland.


Other work by this artist:

Spirit Guides: http://www2.hawaii.edu/~kowalke/

Windows Of Fire: http://wof.travislum.com/

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