Beyond Words

By Jacek Antoni Zieliński

The world of Piotr Bukowski’s paintings is based on imagination, rich in symbolic contents that could not be conveyed by the language of literature. To be brought to life they require images.

Piotr Bukowski

In a vast and conventionally presented cinema hall a group of tiny people is staring at a huge shining empty screen. The screen must be a bright rectangle that draws attention. No words could describe it. The description of this empty rectangular surface would never become emotionally equivalent to the same object in the painting, or actually inside the painting, since we can also find there the image of a space that is dragging us inside and draws our eyes to something that becomes a real representation of tabula rasa. For us, or actually for the anonymous people in the picture sitting in front of the screen, something is about to be shown on the surface, something that they are waiting for. No one knows what it is going to be – their past, their future, their fate. One thing can be known for sure – the moment of awaiting that we see will not change and will last as long as the image brought to life by the artist. The whole setting becomes even more intriguing due to the allusion to the cinema, because in this particular case it indicates the specificity of painting, which conveys its message not by movement, but through stillness.

Piotr Bukowski

In an empty landscape, full of trick clouds and water, under a huge bridge structure on the river bank, stands a group of tiny human figures. Someone is navigating a small boat downstream. What the painting actually depicts is immobility, but mobility is included in the stroke of brush that is painting clouds in the sky, the river waters and the spans of the bridge. The opposition of the two states contributes to the making of the atmosphere of anxiety, awaiting something that may happen.

Piotr Bukowski

In another painting the space of a roomy interior, which is saturated with red light and where the most definite element is the rectangular shape of the dark door, houses the scene of the ablution of a naked young female. Her bright silhouette with its diffused light contrasts with the presence of the gloomy rectangle of the door, which – due to its darkness – becomes menacing, and all this makes us realize that it’s a symbolic ablution. At the top of the painting, as if in another spatial zone, several obscure and blurry human figures are observing the scene.

Paintings of that kind may only materialise outside words. Even their description seems to be a necessary evil, because it violates something that should be left unnamed. Despite that I have still decided to use descriptions here, but merely in order to excavate the most essential meanings from the art of Piotr Bukowski, art which confronts us with a mystery ciphered in the image of reality.

Selected works

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