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- Author Marcin Maciejowski
- Date of production 2001
- Dimensions height: 124 cm, width: 97 cm
- Author's designation artist’s signature
- ID no. BS/870
- Availability in stock
- Acquired date 2001
- Object copyright Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art
- Digital images copyright © all rights reserved, Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art
- Digitalisation RDW MIC, Virtual Małopolska project
The works by Marcin Maciejowski reveal interest in the present and everyday life of a human being. His pictorial commentaries on reality are the result of insightful and multifaceted observation of Polish society. The artist analyses customs, explores stereotypes and cultural patterns. He deals with media topics, presenting figures known from the first pages of newspapers (politicians, journalists, celebrities), topics of sensational events, as well as social and economic problems. He devotes much attention to the social reception of art and the role of the artist.more
The works by Marcin Maciejowski reveal interest in the present and everyday life of a human being. His pictorial commentaries on reality are the result of insightful and multifaceted observation of Polish society. The artist analyses customs, explores stereotypes and cultural patterns. He deals with media topics, presenting figures known from the first pages of newspapers (politicians, journalists, celebrities), topics of sensational events, as well as social and economic problems. He devotes much attention to the social reception of art and the role of the artist. He is also interested in the issues of consumer culture, popularity, and the functioning of the image of a woman. His pictorial frames are construed by transferring illustrations from newspapers and magazines, and photographs taken by him, onto the canvas; inspiration is also provided by scenes from films. Images may also include clippings from reality and snapshots from the life of the average person. Maciejowski’s work has evolved since the 1990s, when the artist, then a member of Ładnie Group, focused on Polish society of the transformation period, analysing mainly the content and form of the media message. The sense and meaning of the paintings was usually emphasized by a short text commentary on the canvas, which made them resemble comic episodes referring to various aspects of the Polish mentality. With time, Maciejowski undertook the construction of cosier and more intimate scenes, based on his own direct observations.
The painting Lekarz powiedział… [The Doctor said…], gives the impression of peeping into an everyday, intimate situation. The patient lying on the bed is surrounded by three people, probably relatives and family members. What could have happened is indicated in the inscription placed in the upper left corner of the canvas: The doctor said that I was lucky. Fangs passed 5 mm away from the artery... . The text is not just a simple message — the doctor’s opinion. It gives the scene a critical dimension and, at the same time, makes it emotionally saturated. The message introduces a tabloid context into seemingly commonplace behaviours and relationships between people. The dramatic situation in everyday life turns into newspaper news, transforming the affected woman into the heroine of a sensational story, in which the avoidance of tragedy should be considered in categories of a miracle worthy of press headlines. Maciejowski somehow senses the desire to exist in the world of the media deepening in society, to stun us with violence and force us to search for scandalous information.
The composition of the stage and its perspective view makes the viewer a co-participant of the moment when the emotions disappear after an unfortunate event. Not without significance for the reception of work are also other means of expression used by the artist, especially the simplification or even crudeness of the heroes’ silhouettes, shaped with strong, broad brush strokes, with pastel colours and the static character of the scene. The horror of the textual message contrasts all the more with the harmony of the colours and compositions, clearly setting itself apart against the backdrop of the hospital wall. It is not so much verifiable facts as their extraordinary, sensational background which become the essence of the representation, both in the content and the form.
Elaborated by Gabriela Brdej (Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art),
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.
Marcin Maciejowski (born 1974) is a painter, cartoonist, author of press illustrations, and comic books. He studied at the Faculty of Architecture of the Kraków University of Technology (1994–1997) and at the Faculty of Graphic Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków (1996–2001). He is a scholarship holder of Bayer AG in Leverkusen (2001); he is a laureate of Polityka’s Passport in the field of fine arts (2002) and Lovis Corinth Preis (2010). He is the author of individual exhibitions, including: Here I live and I feel great here (Zachęta — National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, 2002), Let's act normally (State Art Gallery, Sopot, 2003), Dziupla [Tree hollow] (Arsenał Gallery, Białystok, 2004), Painting (Gallery Marc Foxx, Los Angeles, 2004), Discovery (Gallery Leo Koenig, New York, 2005–2006), Structures of good (Raster Gallery, Warsaw, 2006), Bildpolitiken (Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, 2008), So it is. Marcin Maciejowski (National Museum in Kraków, 2010), Are you really from the world of art? (Kunstforum Ostdeutsche Galerie, Regensburg; Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, 2010), Marcin Maciejowski (Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, 2013), Unsettled Matters (Wilkinson Gallery, London, 2015). He has participated in many group exhibitions, including: Scene 2000 (Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, 2000), Popelita (Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art, Kraków, 2001), Rzeczywiście, młodzi ludzie są realistami [Indeed, young people are realists] and (Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, 2002), Superstars, Von Warhol bis Madonna (Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, 2005), Malarstwo polskie XXI wieku [Polish painting of the 21st century] (Zachęta Gallery, Warsaw, 2006/2007), The Making of Art (Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Frankfurt, 2009), Schism. Polish art of the nineties (Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, 2010), Over and Over Again (Wyspa Institute of Art, Gdańsk, 2010), History in art (MOCAK, Kraków, 2011), The Power of Fantasy: Modern and Contemporary Polish Art (BOZAR, Brussels, 2011), Art of our age (Zachęta – National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, 2015), Picasso in Contemporary Art (Deichtorhallen Hamburg, 2015), Umenie na hlave / Procedures for the Head (Kunsthalle Bratislava, Bratislava, 2015). He is the co-founder and member of the artistic Group Ładnie (1996–2001), which also included: Wilhelm Sasnal, Rafał Bujnowski, Marek Firek, Józef “Kurosawa” Tomczyk. He is the co-editor of Artzina, Słynne Pismo we Wtorek, issued by the Ładnie Group. He has cooperated with the weekly Przekrój (2000–2013), creating illustrations and comics, and with the Machina magazine (2000–2002). The artist collaborates with the Meyer Kainer Gallery in Vienna. He lives and works in Kraków.