LAKEWOOD RANCH — As his dad lay dying in a VA hospital, Mark Kaluga saw hearts.
Kaluga, a 48-year-old digital artist and photographer who also works full-time at Apple, moved to Lakewood Ranch three-and-a-half years ago from Chicago to care for his dying parents.
Both later would die of cancer, but not before those long walks outside the VA Clinic Kaluga would take once a week, to get away from it all, at the behest of his father, Marcel. During his walks, the artist would pick up white stones shaped like hearts.
The heart-shaped stones serve as part of the inspiration for Kaluga’s new eBook, “Of Hearts & Wings,” and its accompanying print art, Scissor Wings, which he unveiled at release party for 50 people Feb. 14, at Ana Molinari Salon, Spa & Boutique, in Lakewood Ranch.
Kaluga spent the last year-and-a-half producing the works while caring for his parents, as well.
The eBook, which Kaluga is trying to publish through Apple and distributors for Barnes & Noble and Amazon, features various photographs of objects shaped like hearts and wings and is edited digitally through Photoshop.
Each picture is accompanied by a brief description of its orgins or quotes by artists such as Picasso.
“I do look for hearts,” Kaluga said. “But anybody can find them. I’m not that unique. You just have to sit, watch and listen.”
Kaluga’s thoughts on art
" Kids think you have to be perfect to be artistic. Imperfection is art. It represents that person, faults and all.
There are two types of art: mimicry and creation. Creation is just an idea. You don’t know when or what it’s going to become.
People need to open up their eyes. I am constantly intervened by art wherever I’m at. It’s always there."