Robert Oltarzewski describes his work as tearing away layers of time. His process is one ancient Greeks might have referred to as Kairos, a moment of intermediate time in which everything happens—the moment of perfection in this artist’s eye. His time-related theme revealed itself in earlier works. He completed his first inspirational work in upstate New York, Chautauqua Lake in 1979. It was there under the guidance of Professor William Waite that he feels his creative identity took hold. “The resurgence of the process comes from something in my past,” he believes. "I can’t explain, and don’t want to.”
Oltarzewski’s work slowly emerges as he applies layers of chalk, ink, cord, and paint. He then pulls various layers away in his attempt to reveal the past and bring it into the present moment. “In my work I tear the layers of paint away from the canvas, perhaps from myself. I don’t want my work to have immediate imagery. In fact, I prefer it not to because I want to slow down the viewing process and allow the viewer space to interpret.” His works range from small to large installations. A Boehme in nature, Robert Oltarzewski, the artist, is doing exactly what he wants and should, bringing the past into the present.