By Wojciech Tuleya
When provincial Częstochowa is getting ready for bed, the painter – locked in his small flat – suffering from insomnia, has to work. He is painting a metropolis, big city lights, the city that never sleeps.
Adam Patrzyk’s works are a true rarity. Especially today, when art has become sheer calculation – both conceptual and technical. Photography, film footage, and an installation bring about a quick and easily-digestible effect. There is no point in praising Adam for painting. Let’s have a look at how he does it. His painting technique is absolutely unique, since it doesn’t match painting in the 21st century, an era of instant effect. His multilayer glazes have this typical, trick texture on top. A glaze requires a few months of meticulous work – applying paint, waiting for it to dry, applying another layer. The artists seems to be acting against any common sense – he sticks to an archaic technique, thus complicating the process of creation, and isn’t looking for short-cuts.
Due to these toilsome efforts, however, Patrzyk’s paintings glitter with reflected and pigment-filtered light, just like enamel paints. It looks as if that glitter was coming through thick coloured glass. Maybe that’s why his paintings dislike white walls and cold evenly-distributed gallery lights, which deprive them of their mystery and intimacy. Patrzyk has turned the process of creation into a long lasting mantra and – like the great masters – he has succeeded in creating his own unique, instantly recognisable style, which is virtually impossible to imitate or copy. And besides, who would really have enough strength and endurance to do so...
Our exhibition, which is called Insomnia, is dominated by the theme of polis. Adam uses a very narrow range of themes. Once he’s decided to use a library, a room with a lone bed, or trams, he will paint it numerous times till he’s completely run out of inspiration.
There are many ways of “reading” Patrzyk’s paintings. In his monumental essay, writer and translator Marek Bieńczyk created a masterly “dictionary” by means of which one can translate non-verbal art – Patrzyk’s paintings – into words, sentences, the language of logic, and search for analogies in literature and philosophy. Sci-Fi author Łukasz Orbitowski wrote a short story, a techno-horror full of archaic trams from Patrzyk’s paintings. The text by journalist Małgorzata Czyńska deals with passing and memory, the gradual transfer of real life onto canvas, the transfer which is concurrent with the artist “getting older“. Is the tail of yellow paint only a streak of light under the bathroom door or a sign of someone’s presence?
There are numerous keys to Patrzyk’s works, which is also typical of classical painting. Each painting gives the audience a chance to come up with a great number of possible narratives.
Please, feel free to expand this rich collection with your own interpretations.