I remembered Krzysztof Krawiec, or “Oreks” after discovering Zdzisław Beksiński a few days ago. If you could read that sentence, you might be Polish. The nationality of the artists is probably significant in ways I don’t explicitly know about (political and sociological background), but Beksiński’s work reminded me of Krawiec, and then I discovered they were both Polish, and there’s virtually nothing in English about Krawiec online. Until now.
[Before telling you about Krawiec, I want to mention to my regular audience (the word “followers” seems a bit insulting) that I intend to explore and share a lot more visual artists, and by “visual artists” I mean people whose primary focus is making imagery. Since I started this blog my art criticism has focused mainly on art that I’m not very fond of, but which is nevertheless the most highly regarded and rewarded art of our time. If it were not, I wouldn’t have bothered with it at all. I’m less interested in conceptual art than I am in music, and it’s less relevant to my own art. More about this in a separate post.]
I found Krzysztof Krawiec on DeviantArt a couple years ago, where he remains today nearly completely ignored. Quality gets you absolutely nowhere on DA, unless you aggressively self-promote, which the best artists seem not very good at doing, probably because they are disinclined to do so.
Through using Google Translate I know that Krawiec is about 41 years old, and his favorite styles of art are Surrealism, Esoteric, Mystical, Fantasy and Magical Realism. He decided to become an artist as a boy upon seeing reproduction of Dali’s Burning Giraffe.
Krawiec is an ardent admirer of Beksiński, and corresponded with the older artist, who encouraged him. They never met, however, and Beksiński only saw Krawiec’s paintings through photographs Krawiec sent to him. Beksiński was murdered in 2005 (he was stabbed 17 times by the teenaged son of his caretaker, who he refused to lend money to).
Krawiec is not only influenced by his older Polish contemporary, but is interested in Bruegel, Giger, Symbolism, and various 19th century movements, as well as contemporary art. His main source of inspiration, though, is his own imagination, and possibly some psychedelically induced visions.
I find Krawiec’s work has a spark of originality about it, and even if it is obviously similar to Beksiński, his handling of paint is lighter, airier, wispy, and the conspicuous brush work is reminiscent of the Impressionists. Krawiec’s work is less dark, and leans more towards Symbolism. My favorite of his paintings are probably the curious women in the water, which only really resemble each other, and are unlike anything else ever painted [see the image below and the one at the top of the post].
Water and air are metaphors in Krawiec’s paintings for physical and mental realms of existence, or probably consensual reality and a dreamlike spiritual plane. Umbrellas crop up in several images, but they are always useless.
All of Krawiec’s images belong to some other space outside of quotidian existence. They are etherial, and like dream environments, don’t follow the laws of physics. The figures are suggested or conveyed rather than rigorously delineated. It all gives me the sensation of having fallen asleep in the sun, after drinking or imbibing some sort of mind-altering substance, and visions are metamorphosing out of the light coming through my inner eyelids.
See gallery of images by Krawiec below.
3 replies on “Krzysztof Krawiec”
I’m glad you are focusing on art that you like, as opposed to that conceptual drab that gets entirely too much attention as it is. I always find it interesting what kind of art someone likes…especially artists!
I just wanted to thank you for this piece on Krzystof “Oreks” Krawiec. I found out about him and his paintings years ago when I was on DeviantArt. I can’t put into words how I feel about his work, it would just be pointless intellectualism, but I will say that he has a level of originality that I find lacking in some much other surreal artists who seem to be trying too hard at copying giants like Bacon, Dali and Giger. I stopped posting and paying attention to DeviantArt years ago for obvious reasons but his images would come into my mind from time to time. He’s criminally underrated and largely unknown, at least here in the US, as far as I can tell there is very little information to be found about him. He’s easily one of my favorite painters and I hope one day to own one of his pieces. Thanks again for writing about him and his work, I’m going to go check out Zdzislaw Beksinski as now I’m intrigued about his work since he was influential to KK.
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Great! We had the same reaction to his work on DA, despite nobody promoting it and it getting no appreciation. We just used our own eyes and our own judgements. I’m as happy as you are that someone else discovered him on their own.
Yes, he has a lot in common with Beksinski, though he has his own distinct flavor. I wrote an article on Beksinski’s cruciform figures you might take a look at: https://artofericwayne.com/2014/12/15/the-cruciforms-of-zdzislaw-beksinski/
It’s also so nice when people discover my old article I forgot I even wrote, and which only a few people saw in the beginning.