Rafał Dominik

BORN 1985, Warszawa

Painter, author of drawings, animations, sculptures and 3D digital objects. He graduated from the studio of Leon Tarasewicz at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Founder and vocalist of a disco polo group Galactics, member of a now defunct design collective Czosnek Studio. Co-curator of an exhibition “Art in Our Age” organized by the ING Polish Art Foundation. He is inspired by the contemporary visual and material culture – like sports shoes or modern electronic devices, seen as symbols of status or a particular lifestyle. His distinctive style recalls the aesthetics of comic books or video games, and his works, populated by exaggerated characters, often have a humorous (yet never ironic) bend. 

Poles Unite
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Rafał Dominik

Poles Unite

2017 / drawing (airbrush on paper) / 112 x 153 cm / no. 0179 Creative CommonsCreative CommonsCreative CommonsCreative Commons Licence 1/ 3 Wróć
Description

The scene of reconciliation recalls the figural compositions from the historical paintings, but in Rafał Dominik’s drawing, the gravity of a known iconographic theme becomes almost comical. Static silhouettes of uniting Poles seem monumental, but misshapen – like a primitive, naïve statue. Frozen in a handshake, the half-naked Poles look like Stone Age humans, even though their hairstyles (especially women’s) are definitely contemporary. One could suspect that the process of uniting of the Poles has been going on for many centuries, but stalled – despite best efforts. Maybe it’s not meant to ever be completed.

Boys from early Top One
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Rafał Dominik

Boys from early Top One

2017 / drawing (airbrush, rapidograph on paper) / 140 x 150 cm / no. 0180 Creative CommonsCreative CommonsCreative CommonsCreative Commons Licence 2/ 3 Wróć
Description

Rafał Dominik is a fan and connoisseur of disco polo – for some time he was even the leader of a disco polo band Galactics. “Boys from early Top One” is a portrait of the members of a disco polo group popular in Poland at the turn of the 80. and the 90. Over the years, the members of the group have changed several times. Rafał Dominik portrayed probably a long time Top One vocalist Paweł Kucharski, and Ghanaian Daniel Osafo Oware, the dancer from the video clip for the most famous Top One song “Ole Olek!” – commissioned by the then-presidential candidate Aleksander Kwaśniewski for his 1995 campaign. Faces of the two men are so simplified and devoid of characteristics that only the title of the drawing points to the possible models. Suggestive arrangement of the bodies creates an emotional, but still intimate scene.

Intelligent and unintelligent compare the size of their hands
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Rafał Dominik

Intelligent and unintelligent compare the size of their hands

2017 / 3D digital file / / no. 0181 Creative CommonsCreative CommonsCreative CommonsCreative Commons Licence 3/ 3 Wróć
Description

“Intelligent…” is a 3D digital model, but the characters are very similar to the analogue ones, drawn by Rafał Dominik with pencil or airbrush on paper. The artwork was shown for the first time at the internet exhibition space Clicks and Turns. This cyber sculptural group can be zoomed in or out, turned around and watched from different perspectives, but the hands of intelligent and unintelligent always stay in the centre, pinned to the middle of the browser window. The size difference of their hands is, in fact, significant – but how to tell which one is which? The assumptions bring some deep-rooted stereotypes to light. For Rafał Dominik, human figures serve as symbols and carriers of particular values and meanings. The titles – descriptive, or even narrative – are very important for the artist, because they activate stories encoded in his works.

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