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Studio Visit with Robert Kraiza

Posted on December 03 2015

A peek inside Robert Kraiza's South Philadelphia studio as he prepares for his upcoming solo exhibition, Covendom . . . 

In my work I invoke a whimsical world inspired by Victorian and Edwardian eras. To me they represent a romantic time period that has roots that extend directly into the modern world, both good and bad. The customs and aesthetics of the period are both fascinating and breathtaking but a vast portion of the population was victim to subjugation.


It has since been eradicated on paper but still permeates to this day. I am exploring an imagined supernatural world hidden just out of sight where these woman could escape. This is an evolution from my earlier work set in the same time period with a continuous thread of humans and their animal companions. 

Through witchcraft these women find strength in their abilities and each other to leave the oppressive world they inhabit behind and escape to the woods to their Covendom, the boundary that defines the territory of their coven. They shed their customs, their corsets, and their concerns at the edge of the forest and gather among the trees to explore their magical potential with their familiars at the side.

This body of work is exploring multiple media with a consistent theme and setting; combining watercolor painting, pen and ink illustrations, and graphite drawings.


All pieces are created in monochrome on hot press watercolor paper mounted on wood with a gold painted border reminiscent of daguerreotype frames. Watercolor allows me to achieve results ranging from soft ethereal layered washes similar to oil glazes to precise minute details I include in all of my works.

Robert Kraiza is an illustrator and fine artist who lives and works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He studied Media Arts and Animation at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. Interested in many media, he often paints in monochrome watercolor on a small scale, inspired by the Victorian era and whimsical dreams in both his art and personal aesthetic. Depicting fantasy worlds from the hidden life of nineteenth century witches to miniature children saddling wild animals like mice and cats. With a strong love for classic art and draftsmanship he spends his time drawing, painting, and sculpting in the company of his wife Theresa, their daughter Lydia, and their 3 friendly cats.