Jo Motyka’s work has its foundations in color study and the traditional and non-traditional use of materials. The works are primarily made to tantalize people’s thought processes and secondarily to make them feel or solely appreciate its aesthetic value. 

His color based material studies have led him to employ traditional methods of material fabrication and manipulation derived from historical treatises; recipes used by the old masters, by eighteenth and nineteenth century practical encyclopedias and even a number of processes developed by art restorers and art forgers of the twentieth century. These traditional foundations are also applied to materials preparation and usage for the most modern polymers, resins and pigments, and are often mixed with traditional artist’s materials used by Motyka in his work. 

The canvases done with encaustic are viewed by him as paintings without a need for paint and his pigment-infused binding mediums have more in common with pencil or pastel drawing than they do with paint, yet when the materials are applied to canvas the lines of delineation between painting and drawing become blurred.



The works on paper function much in the same way, however they do not so much rely on an overt approach quite so heavily. Instead they tend to have familiar forms that are rooted in contemporary society and stem from the more practical, if mundane, uses that paper has taken on in our culture - as packaging, books, folders, and labels, anything one might find in an office, a school room or wherever one might inhabit.

Motyka’s drawings tend to be more free formed and have been used both as an utilitarian means to an end or just simply a way to free up the mind through the use of the hand and marker put to the prepared surface. The core of most of the works stems from the fetishistic qualities that art objects take on, as well as the inspiration and process that has led to their creation. It is the material object regarded with superstitious or extravagant reverence and the psychological necessity for its presence that is the gratifying part of work; that instant when a person views the work of art and is fixated and either finds pathological satisfaction or displacement in their devotion to the moment.



Similar to his paintings, the same infusions can be set on rigid support to form foundation of Motyka’s wall mounted sculptures or used to encapsulate any of the number of found object elements that become the poignant focus of the wall mounts. These found objects were never really meant to be the focal point of the sculpture; they are in part placed in a specific quadrant to add to the dynamic of the spatial relation within the work to satisfy a perceived need for the viewer to have an anchor to engage a sculpture. He feels that adding a certain degree of recognisability in sculpture draws the viewer in and uses the familiarity of form to more readily garner an initial response that will later be further developed.

The sculptures relate back to the philosophies expressed by his two dimensional works, in that, they hold onto the forbearance of the paintings and works on paper, to retain the traditionally, minimalist viewpoint that has tended to rely solely on the subconscious responses of the viewer. The presence of these elements essentially forces the issue on the subconscious, by his introduction of the most ‘esoteric familiarity’ someone might have with any single object found in his works.