Your paintings are so big and expressive, with an incredible amount of life and energy. What is the main inspiration behind your works and your desire to paint?
Actually, everything can become a theme and inspiration to create something new : movies, books, life situations, observed interactions between people, art, travels, new places, new faces...
In a word, everything that surrounds me is inspiring, although certainly one of the most important sources of inspiration and the strongest drive of artistic activities was undoubtedly theatre. In fact, my professional adventure with art began by working as a theatre production designer. However, I quickly realized that what interested me more than theatre space itself was the human being and his emotions connected with it. The fascination in this theme is manifested in all of my work, not only in expression, intense colours, joining the almost realistic figurativeness with the abstract or a dynamic presentation of the subject but also in the treatment of paintings as a kind of study of human moods. In connection with the presentation of such strong, diverse emotions it is just easier for me to create larger formats or even expand them by adding additional panels
The use of colour, light and dark, and shape is phenomenal, the works have such vibrancy, can you tell us more about the way you use these elements in your works and what you hope they convey to the audience?
As I already mentioned, the most important aspect of my work is emotions. I create intuitively, so in order to show them, I subconsciously choose the adequate form of expression: dynamics, vibrant colours, strong contours, or even a quick and almost comic way of approaching the subject. The reality that I show is not a faithful reconstruction of what surrounds me. It is a world built on my own feelings or experiences, and the paintings themselves become a kind of intimate diary, a record of the results of my observations of human nature. I hope that this mix of elements causes that the message in my works is quite clear and perceived also, perhaps above all, on an emotional level.
You explore lots of naked forms and bodies in motion in your practise, what draws you into the need to paint them? Talk us through your process.
For me, the dynamics of the human body and its peculiar beauty is undoubtedly a fascinating subject, just like observations of the variability and diversity of human nature. The way it is presented depends on the whole concept of the painting, whether it concerns a specific person or an imaginary character. The painting which portrays a specific person talks about their experiences and emotions. When working on such a theme I adapt the entire form and expression to the character of the person portrayed. In contrast, when painting an invented character, I partly use my own image, although the stories told in these works do not necessarily relate to my own experience. They are more a visual bridge between these stories and my emotions, the result of my imagination, creative inspiration, and the final vision of the character. However, in both situations, the creative process requires time and a well thought-out concept.
You’ve exhibited widely across Europe, which was your favourite exhibitions and what did you show?
Really, any exhibition is important to me and my own personal success, although undoubtedly the presentation of my paintings at a joint show with the objects of Zaha Hadid and Ron Arad in the ArtAffair Gallery in Germany, was certainly an honour for me and a great pleasure since I have admired the works of these artists for years.
Your also a co-founder of design group ‘Substance’, tell us more about the group, what it does and what your aims were in founding it
I mentioned that my professional artistic path began when I was working in the theatre. Although I focus much more intensely on painting, I never gave up my job as a stage designer. Aside from making the paintings, I create set designs, though not in the theatre anymore but in museum spaces. This is how the idea appeared to create the design group SUBSTANCE / designer, graphics, sculptor / whose main objective would be to create an exhibition space for museums and cultural institutions, as well as cooperate with education centres. For example, this year we are finishing a large project on the expansion of the permanent exhibition for the Polish Navy Museum. In my case, these two fields: set design and painting, constantly penetrate each other and for me, they become a very strong, mutual inspiration.
And before you go, what piece are you working on right now? Whats in your studio awaiting paint
I have a few new art projects in Asia and Europe planned in 2017, which I am slowly starting to prepare for now. While in my studio, I am creating a new series of paintings, some of which can already be seen in the gallery Bartoux in Paris. Lots of work ahead but I'm really excited for all these upcoming events.
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INTERVIEW by ART WEEK / HANNAH SMITH