Thursday, 26 May 2011


BARTOSZ KOLATA /// Before and behind the scenes

As Bartosz once put it there is such a massive onslaught of cruel and violent scenes blurring the line between reality and unreality that our sensibility has been weakened. With this new body of work, Bartosz is taking us "behind the scenes" where acts of violence are taking or have taken place.

But as always with Bartosz’s work the story - the true menace behind the scene - can be found in the details, the hints he leaves for us on the canvas. We must stand and stare for while, unravel the story for ourselves, go behind the scenes. Unless we pay attention, we don’t really see their dark side.

Motorways feature prominently in this body of work. For Bartosz they are symbols of the world we live in. We all go about our business at an accelerated pace, heedless of the human tragedies happening on the sidelines, unaware of misdeeds carried out around the corner or across the street, by the canal, in someone's back garden, on the fringes of society or in the leafy suburban areas.

Another important aspect in this body of work is the use of dripping paint, a technique used by 20th century abstract expressionists. For Bartosz this is a metaphor of the transience of time as well as an expression of the indelible traces that human interaction and violence leave behind.

Death is however an inseparable part of life and the striking use of grey in some of the paintings reveal images from the past. Bartosz shows us the invisible stains of death and violence that linger like ghosts in scenes from everyday life. He reminds us that just because we didn’t see it, it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Look at the young man in the foreground of what seems to be a peaceful university campus. His tragedy lingers as students sit by a lake under a cloudless sky. Or is his story unfolding as the students sit in the background? But why is society not watching?

With Bartosz's work we keep asking ourselves questions and trying to find possible answers. This is what Bartosz wants us to do, to continue the untold stories or reinterpret them with the clues he has given us. (Olivier Cornet, Artist’s agent, 18 March 2011)


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