Wojtek is a Polish artist living in London. On his journey to understanding his own path he studied fine art as well as graphic design and make-up. His art is intuitive and combines a fascination with organic bodies and how they interact with the spiritual aspects of being. He believes life is formed from both light and darkness and both are essential for a balanced existence.
Wojtek has always used creativity to help digest reality and as a mechanism to deal with personal struggles. As he grew as an artist he combined painting with aspects for self-growth – meditation, writing, psychotherapy and spiritual workshops. It is this enlightenment and deep introspection that guides his art today.
His seven deadly sins series -Sumas de Peccatis – is an intimate portrayal of his fears and pain endured during his strict religious upbringing, social expectations, childhood traumas, education…it is a process of challenging everything using the seven deadly sins as the trigger.
‘This project was all hand painted on Burberry coats as that was always my preferred canvass…the softness, unpredictability, the folds, imperfections…it was important for few reasons: it was coming from my heart with the intention for it to be worn on another heart…it was not cold, smooth and perfect like gessoed canvas…it was showing each stroke without ability to reverse the move…it was raw, imperfect with it folds..it was alive. Each coat was then photographed by me and digitised for the special gold print which is hand finished with gold foil and ink and framed within bespoke hand finished frames’.
Self taught or art school?
In one line: art school… but that’s a big simplification. I have always painted, drawn, created. My perception of life was perceived through emotions rather than education and it was easiest for me to express myself via art. Yet as simple it sounds it was a very long process of art school, graphic design, photography and make up artistry I studied along that path. And the biggest lesson was to reject what I learnt and explore my own skill.
If you could own one work of art what would it be?
One of the paintings by Zdzislaw Beksinski
How would you describe your style?
My art is focused on deep emotions of understanding. It is a visual representation of traumatic experiences and the spiritual path of healing.
Places we feel safe. Solid surfaces that hold the gravity preventing out of balance ripple from forming. Layers of experiences: past and future contained within present moment. The anchor rips the fabric shifting in time and matter. Flickering feeling of helplessness. When happenings collide with emotions. Pulsating veins distribute poison of the threat. Unknown yet so definable. Buzzing energy of electric signals transmits crackling messages. Inner social media explosion. There are moments of celebrations, moments when things come easier, flow and position themselves neatly. Moments when expression flows from within without blockage. Moments when we acquire tools. Then sometimes darkness overflows with anxiety. Hands hurt from clenching, heart exhausts in super pace. Tongue gets tangled. Expression is closed. Moments when we acquire emotions. They exist together. Always there. Present at the same time. Help us to live fuller, support the growth. In a single stroke, magic releases its power. Gesture of life. Acceptance.
Where are your favourite places to view art?
It depends. My comforts shift at all times. From deeply introverted times where I enclose myself in protective cocoon and those moments I explore online or within books. Kindly and gently intake unknown. When I explore outside anywhere is a great place. Rather than recognised names I seek inspiration from tiny art shops and their vitrines, antique shops, to big famous museums. Art is everywhere but the reception always starts inside.
Who are your favourite artists and why?
Beksinski for his beautiful landscapes of fear and traumas, Dali for surreal escapism, Lynch for a world he forms that crosses different dimensions, Bjork for expressive hunger for discovery and my friend Adrian Boswell, for his collages that took me on a adventure of self discovery.
What or who inspires your art?
Anything and everything. As vague it sounds I want it to be vast and open. People with their complex stories, minds behind love and pain, music that trickles shapes and colours in between the fold of my brain, nature for shapes and textures. Smells that penetrate me deep and pull my spine… living and fear of dying. And anything in between and silence after when spirit joins cosmos.
Where’s your studio and what’s it like?
In one sentence my attic is my studio yet nowadays my paints, brushes, canvas have taken over my bedroom. I paint I stop. I interact with the world and suddenly I write and observe and paint again. My being is my workspace and that is always taking over reality.
Do you have any studio rituals?
Meditation is an extremely important part of my life as a human as well as an artist. My art is formed of the skeleton of reality and once it is grounded spiritual aspect form cosmic poetry. Visions for that form while I meditate. And in a human aspect. Touching my paints and brushes, exploring textures, techniques extends later onto my works. I am a slow painter. I proof and form poetry inside then I let it out and observe and listen and proof again…
What are you working on currently?
Latest piece is exploring emotion of fear of unknown… death and rejection. It is a portrait of pain and a celebration of life. Path. I have titled my works Scratching the Surface project as it explores removing the obvious while peeling the layers of reality. From triggers into surreal answers. “Scratching the Surface”, where each painting is the reflection of the original image, recognised by many but asking new questions. It is a Communication between the surface and what is deep inside, a map of human behaviours once the comfortable is removed. I wanted to form a dialogue by prompting a response to the obvious. The art of conversation when convenience is gone.
What are your ambitions?
My paintings are only the beginning. I use that skill to start the conversation and the idea is to take it to deep places of the unknown. Art of conversation. Installation of experiences with music, smells, theatre. Greek theatre of catharsis. I want to talk and to listen. I want people to open and explore.
Original interview by Lisa published in The Flux Review