The Baltic Center for Contemporary Art presents the first show of the artist in a UK public gallery until June 2.
Marcin Maciejowski (Babice, Poland 1974) sees the reality of the contemporary world as material worthy of study. Greatly influenced by the new political and cultural landscape in found Poland after the fall of Communism, his artworks play with the hierarchical distinctions between painting, his chosen medium, photography and film as a means to question the legitimacy of painting. The manipulation also serves as a way to make sense of the changes in modern society.
The origin of his work is always found in popular and commercial images found in newspapers, TV and movie stills, posters and advertisement. Maciejowski collects these images in search of the one will be transformed from its original medium into a painting. The resulting scenes are re-presentations of everyday life, portrayed through a peculiar realistic style.
From seductive to mundane, everything and everyone has a place in Maciejowski’s paintings: anonymous party-goers, Hollywood stars, religious and military figures. Each scene preservers the social and political implications of the original image, but the artists enhances them through the change in medium, providing more information about the mood and narrative of the moment.
The strictly protocol of portrait painting is replaced by a use of color and a relaxed presentation of each figure, normally devoid of facial features. The end result is a confirmation that painting has not lost capabilities of representing reality and that it can still be a method of capturing, recording and reflecting everyday contemporary life.
More information: Marcin Maciejowski in the Baltic Center for Contemporary Art until June 2.
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