Stach Szumski

b. 1992, Gdańsk

Visual artist. A graduate of the Media Arts Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. The artists creates paintings, installations, sculptures, graphics, drawings, and murals in public space. He attributes his visual education chiefly to grass-roots practices associated with post-graffiti. Co-founder (with Karolina Mełnicka) of the Nomadic State project – an artistic collective and fictional nomadic micro-state established in 2015. The visual messages of late capitalism and the side effects of globalization serve as fodder for his art. He carries out his works – including large-format murals as well as interdisciplinary projects based on local research – during and as the fruits of his numerous travels around the world. He lives and works in Warsaw.

The Issue of Office Bacteria VI

2018, acrylic, canvas, 150 x 180 cm

The paintings from the series The Issue of Office Bacteria enter into a visual dialogue with the aesthetics of leased office space. In the artist’s interpretation, vacant offices—seemingly sterile and neutral—actually pulse with hidden life, generating a vague anxiety. The miniature, replicated modules from which the paintings are constructed combine to form “molecular” chains, creating half abstract compositions and half figurative scenes. Works from this series were presented for the first time at a solo show organized by Polana Institute in the spaces of the Warsaw office centre Sawa Park. The immediate formal inspiration for creation of the richly detailed monochromatic canvases was the aggressive graphic pattern of office carpeting.

The Issue of Office Bacteria III

2018, acrylic, canvas, 150 x 130 cm

Stach Szumski samples and deconstructs iconographic motifs used in interpersonal communications from the very origins of humanity: from prehistoric wall paintings and medieval alchemical symbols to contemporary graffiti, popular tattoo patterns, and logos of global corporations. He weaves symbols from various eras and cultures into organic, ornamental forms. The painting The Issue of Office Bacteria III, with its flat yellow background, suggests a huge sign warning against some undefined toxic substance—or maybe itself is a “virus,” a new form of life in typical homogenized office spaces. Works from this series were presented for the first time at a solo show organized by Polana Institute in the spaces of the Warsaw office centre Sawa Park.

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