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Łukasz Huculak Skull Size: 30x30

Late symptoms of death

Divagations on art and death. The ART Gallery cordially invites you to the exhibition of paintings by Łukasz Huculak, entitled ‘Late Symptoms of Death’ – an artistic accent during Holy Week. For a long time, Huculak believed that the gravity of a skull – this crown of still life – is inevitably suffused with the grotesque. For years he would treat painting skulls as a painter’s training, almost meditational, until the motif grew in strength and the painting reached the appropriate state of matter. The existential burden and the chill of constructivism merged into a painting.

Łukasz Huculak : Late symptoms of death

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Łukasz Huculak

Late symptoms of death

March 2016

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A girl, a gal, a woman

A child, a girl and a teenage gal are his daughters and their peers. The woman has got the face of a Greek goddess, a wife, a mother, a student, an acquaintance.

The angel is also a woman. Jacek makes an exception only for St. Michael, because the archangel must look like a formidable warrior, like a man.

The motif of a female cyclist must have been taken from nostalgia, infatuations and his memories of youth. In his university years he travelled with other members of his cycling club all around Poland. They visited old mansions and wooden churches. The boys were always dashing forward, but Jacek would linger at the back with girls – they were so pretty, aesthetic, in their plimsolls worn on bare feet, and their short trousers. Nevertheless, he prefers skirts, and in his paintings female cyclists are somewhat taken from a different era – slightly sentimental, like in old photographs or a pre-war fashion magazine.

Karolina and Kaja – the daughters, the girls. Jacek painted the elder one – Karolina – for the very first time when she was one year old. His wife Elżbieta was holding her in her arms. Nowadays Karolina is a conscious model, although she gets fed up with all the alterations and numerous poses her father wants her to assume. She comes to his study with her girlfriends and gladly dumps posing on them. Every girl would like to be a painter’s model, but it bores his daughter since it’s become a routine for her.
He has been painting Kaja since her earliest childhood – she’s been growing in his paintings.

A woman has no apparent age or the painter hasn’t defined her age yet. Neither has he painted an old woman yet. And generally speaking, what does “old” mean here? It’s a very relative term. The mother who posed for his early paintings seemed very mature then, and now he can only perceive her as a young woman. Anyway, age is of little or no importance – a model’s beauty is determined by her energy and warmth.

The stranger – the last woman has got the face of a girl at the hairdresser’s he’s been going to and is not a complete stranger any more. He’s been nurturing her for months now and he’d like to start painting.

Łukasz Huculak

Łukasz Huculak

Born in 1977 in Rzeszow. Studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw. Graduated in 2002 under tutorage of Prof Stanislaw Kortyka and Prof Wojciech Kaniowski. Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw, where he currently runs a painting studio.