Art Reveal Interview

A good thing, an interview - it does help you crystallize your views. Thanks a lot for the opportunity, Art Reveal :)

Here’s the link to the illustrated online version:


And you can order a paper copy here (worth it!):


…And here’s the interview:

Tell us a little about
your background and how that influences you

I hold MFA in Photography
from University of Arts in Poznan, Poland, and Diploma in Film
Directing from Academy of Film and TV in Warsaw, Poland. But, oddly
enough, I primarily see myself as a draughtsman and painter – it
was the first thing I remember doing as a child and for many years
these activities have been central to my life - and I tend to carry
over the perception and manner of expression related to these
disciplines to other media. Another area which is an influencing
force is dance/music. I started dancing as a child, and, at some
point, the love for dance took me to West Africa, principally to
Senegal, where I lived for 3 years, but also to Mali and Guinea, to
study traditional dances of the region. I’ve always been a great
admirer of African art and form, too. My other great passions are
cultural anthropology and depth psychology (with its relation to
alchemy and the occult) – I’m considering pursuing a degree, in
fact, to then work towards a PhD combining art and psychology. In
many ways, they are two sides of the same coin for me. A look into
the soul.

What is the most
challenging part of being an artist?

Nowadays, it’s not enough
to be dedicated to the message and quality of you art, but, above
all, you need to be a business person, effective seller and marketer;
you need to have the facility of networking, but only as long as you
make the “right” contacts – these things are a bit out of my
depth as I’m a hopeless case of humanist. Another thing, as an
occasional sale doesn’t change much in the financial area, you need
to support yourself and your art, usually by means of a day job, and
that consumes quite a lot of time which otherwise could be used to
improve your skills and be more productive. On the psychological
level, rejection is a tough one, and you’re likely to get a lot of
it, statistically. Also, the inner critic and doubts and struggles
you experience with regard to your creations. All in all, there’re a
lot of (sometimes I think that too many) social and economic factors
to balance constantly. With all that (and a few more), maintaining
your inspiration and motivation can be a real challenge. But on the
other hand, art is a reward unto itself.

Name artists you’d
like to be compared to.

There are plenty of
artists I admire, am inspired by and see as my family in spirit –
but I’d rather not compare myself to them, as things are, as, in my
view, the essential part of creating is to find your own unique
voice. As mentioned before, when I think about my inspirations, the
first names that come to my mind are painters’: Witkacy
(S.I.Witkiewicz), Jacek Malczewski, Franz von Stuck, Paul Gauguin,
Soly Cisse (a Senegalese contemporary painter), Frida Kahlo, Rene
Magritte, Gustav Klimt, Maxfield Parrish for his use of colour, Sasha
Schneider, Joao Ruas and Sam Wolfe (contemporaries, too), Odilon
Redon, Austin Osman Spare, Leonor Fini, Georgio de Chirico, William
Blake, Ernst Fuchs, the symbolists… I suppose I could easily fill
five pages, haha. Photography-wise, I admire image that speaks
through form, as in the case of Edward Weston’s or Anselm Adams’
work, or is capable of getting through to darkness and mystery, like
Sally Mann’s or Cindy Sherman’s. I adore Robert Mapplethorpe’s oeuvre
and the paintery lightness of Tomek Sikora’s photographs: the list
can go on!

How would you describe
the art scene in your area?

I live a pretty nomadic
life, so I’m not sure which area is really “mine”. I spent the
last year in Scotland, still before – a few years in Senegal, and
right now I’m virtually in the middle of a forest so, practically,
I’m the only “art scene” in this area, haha. My traveling may
actually be – among other things - my looking for a place with such
an art scene as can accommodate and inspire myself, I’m not sure.
What I notice globally is that there exists a certain dictatorship of
conceptualism-gone-astray, to a worrying degree. It seems that the
trend has boiled down to “you name it art and it’s art” with
kilometre-long essays to explain what basically should be expressed
in the work, and which is nowadays applied to virtually almost
anything. I sometimes recall Witkacy’s words: “Anybody may create
whatever they like and has the right to be content with it as long as
they are dishonest in what they do, and manage to find someone who,
equally deceitfully, will admire it.” I’d rather go with John
Fowles: “”If an artist is not his own sternest judge, he is
not fit to be an artist”.

What’s the best art
tip you’ve ever received?

Funnily enough, not to
compare myself to anybody, as every creative path is one of a kind,
just like the person behind it. I think the creative process is
possibly the most independent process there is. If your work is to
have any weight, it should be aligned with your internal, personal
truth, the “gut feeling”. In my mind. J. Cocteau described it
perfectly: “All of us contain in ourselves a night we scarcely know
or do not know at all. That night tries to emerge from us, yet
resists emerging. That is the drama of art, a real struggle between
Jacob and the Angel.” It is a continuous development and a quest to
“deepen the mystery” and, perceived in that way, makes any
comparisons pointless, as every artist struggles to express their own

What are your future
plans as an artist?

I’m about to start
preparing a new cycle of works, using a slightly evolved technique of
my design, for an exhibition in Wrocław, Poland, which is to take
place at the end of summer, so I’m looking forward to this. Then I’ll
go discovering Amsterdam, most probably, and maybe back to Senegal in
winter to do a project on lion-men, the core of Senegalese identity.
Fingers crossed!

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