Discover the dystopian surreal art of Polish painter and photographer Zdzisław Beksiński

“In medieval lore, Beczynski seems to believe that art is a forewarning about the fragility of the body—whatever pleasures we know are doomed—and thus, his paintings succeed in evoking the process of dissolution and the constant struggle for life. . . they have secret poetry stained with blood and rust.” . Guillermo del Toro

The life and death of Polish painter, photographer and sculptor Zdzisław Beksiński are stirred up, transformed into a cursed tragedy in the account of events in his late life, all seemingly horrific enough: the artist’s wife’s death from cancer in 1998, the suicide of his son, Tomasz, after One year and, finally, his stabbing death in 2005 by his teenage son who is taking care of him. If we add to this novel Beczynski’s childhood in Nazi-occupied, and then Soviet-occupied Poland, we have ample reason to speculate about the meaning of his nightmarish visions.

But the “nightmare artist,” as he was called in the video above, wants us to stay away from making sense of any kind. Unlike artists whose work can seem inseparable from statements of purpose (or personal or historical tragedies), Beksiński had nothing to say about his art or his life.

He preferred that others remain silent as well, although he himself hates silence, working on loud classical and rock. He said that music – not literature, cinema, history, or even other artists – was his only inspiration. The impression we get from these meager details and Beksiński’s disturbing work, is the impression we get from an individual who is perhaps best left alone.

However, judging the artist’s body of work by the worst things that have happened to him is clearly unfair. For the majority of his life, the body of the famous Beksiński Flaubert quote About a regular and organized creative life. He studied architecture, then supervised construction projects and then designed buses. Like many people, he hated his job (leaving the bus company in 1967). He developed his passion for photography, sculpture and drawing. With no formal artistic training, he began his fifty-year career as a prolific surrealist, and became a master of oil painting. Are you tormented? Those who knew him describe him as cute, gentle, and even funny. It seems that he was completely satisfied.

Shall we resist interpretation as Beksiński wanted? How can we, when the images of death in his work seem to be the same to explain the events that inevitably shaped his world? Beksiński was born in Sanok, in southern Poland, in 1929. When the Nazis came to Poland a decade later, Sanuk’s population was “about 30% Jewish,” he notes. MosqueAlmost all of them were wiped out by the end of the war. Decades later, Nazi icons and throngs of emaciated corpse-like figures began to be repeated in Beczynski’s paintings, which he described as “a depiction of dreams.” These atrocities prevail in his most famous work, though Beczynski’s vision was more widespread than casual fans might know.

His sense of humor is evident in photography, and in early, more abstract paintings, he shows a much lighter touch. (We see Extensive sample of Beksiński’s work in i liked.) In the 1990s, he began experimenting with computer graphics and “granted his desire to be able to add surreal alterations to photographs,” making his career “complete as he returned to his first medium,” he notes. culture. However, like contemporary H.R. Giger, where Beksiński is known, he is usually known as the painter of nightmares and heavy metal album covers – and for good reason.

The multi-circuit video on Beksiński above (which begins with a warning about the content) shows why his “epic world of scenes of hell” has proven inescapable to the critics who adopted his work, the galleries who sold it, and those who discovered it since the artist’s tragic death.

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Josh Jones Writer and musician based in Durham, North Carolina. follow him in Tweet embed