Cezary Poniatowski

BORN 1987, Olsztyn

Painter, he also creates drawings, collages, sculptures and installations. He graduated from the Faculty of Graphic Arts of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw.. His distinctive style, with black and white angular forms verging on representational and abstract, was early discovered by the polish art community. In 2013 he won Geppert Prize, one of the most important awards for young polish painters. Poniatowski's monochromatic paintings and drawings often draw from the tradition and aesthetics of calligraphy or graffiti. His sculptures and installations, sometimes hinting at the popcultural tropes, evoke a surreal, slightly grotesque atmosphere. Lives and works in Warsaw.

untitled
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Cezary Poniatowski

untitled

2018 / plywood, acrylic paint, synthetic leather, staples / 125 x 102 cm / no. 0182 Creative CommonsCreative CommonsCreative CommonsCreative Commons Licence 1/ 2 Wróć
Description

On the first sigh, the monochromatic relief appears to be abstract. The composition is built from angular forms, characteristic for the artist; cut from plywood, wood, and foam upholstered in synthetic leather. They are all black, but each material reflects the light in a different way – with brightly shining exposed nail heads and upholstery staples. Upon a closer observation, the eye starts to search for familiar forms: a bulky figure in the center, surrounded by shapes reminding of speech bubbles. A piece of plywood with a pattern made of drilled holes looks like an obscured window of a confession box seen from the inside.
This unexpectedly materialised scene startles the observer. The artist himself calls his works the “negatives of reality”. For him, they are a visual interpretation of a mental state called derealisation, the feeling of detachment that is a defense mechanism of an overstimulated brain.
 

Conquistador
This image, entitled Sharing Creative Works, by Creative Commons is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Cezary Poniatowski

Conquistador

2018 / plywood, acrylic paint, synthetic leather, staples / 125 x 102 cm / no. 0183 Creative CommonsCreative CommonsCreative CommonsCreative Commons Licence 2/ 2 Wróć
Description

Black shapes of upholstered pleather appear to be floating in the space of the relief – even though they’re hammered to the background with quite a lot of staples. The title directs us to the potential origin of these abstract forms: maybe they’re pointed hats of the invaders, or the snouts of the cattle accompanying them. This kind of balancing on the border of representation and abstraction is typical for Poniatowski’s works. So are recurring references to pop culture – the artist cites Darren Aronofsky’s movie “The Fountain” as a direct inspiration for his “Conquiscador”.
The works is a part of an open cycle of objects, presented for the first time in 2018 in his solo exhibition “Sick-box” in Stereo gallery. In catholic tradition, sick-box is a small wooden box filled with figurines of saints, holy oils and candles – a kind of a private talisman designed to protect a sick or dying person. The artist took the term from George Sounder’s book “Lincoln in Bardo”.
 

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