June 22nd from 6pm – 9pm (with guest performance by Mezzo Soprano Katarzyna Sadej at 8pm)
curated by Yossi Govrin
ARENA 1 Gallery is pleased to present OUT OF POLAND, a group exhibition of paintings, drawings, photography, augmented reality, tapestry and music by eight artists out of Poland (and one artist from Latvia). Through disparate mediums, these artists express aesthetic views in their own personal languages that live for the duration of the exhibition in the single white cube of Arena1 Gallery.
“The Wax of Poland has been in the process of creation for five years now. For the first time, in Santa Monica Art Studios, Antonina Konopelska will show the whole series together along with many completely new pieces. The Wax of Poland may formally be associated with one of the recent Cindy Sherman photo series, Rich Women, being more of its reversal though. The works of the American artist are dripping with artificiality, Konopelska, in turn, carefully conceals the manipulations, blends them into seemingly natural, uncontrived performances. The faces of older women from Rich Women series seem to be plastic surgeon’s sculpted masks, in which only the eyes remain alive. The characters of The Wax of Poland are distinguished by an absent gaze, glassy eyes of porcelain dolls, wax figures and medieval votive sculptures.
Photographing the people she sees as her wax “prey” is for the artist, above all, a meeting with an actual person. Although the lion’s share of time is consumed by photo editing, which is often several weeks, certain elements must be captured live. If they aren’t, Antonina consistently returns to the model and waits with her camera until it is possible to put them into a state of mild detachment. Although The Wax of Poland achieves its character through digital processing, the most important thing is the artist’s meeting with the protagonist, and from the perspective of the viewer – a meeting with a specific form, an experience of non-digital reproduction, printed out in a specified scale and on the right paper. Hence it is, largely, a story about photography itself in the post-photographic era – full of internal tensions, which Antonina does not cover but – on the contrary – emphasizes.
And finally – while Sherman, in accordance with many years of her practice, plays her characters herself, Konopelska never stands in front of the camera.”
-Piotr Policht, curator
Curylo is an artist based in Warsaw, Poland. Her paintings and installations are presented in public spaces. In 2012 and 2016, Curyło received a scholarship awarded by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. Curyło is interested in the ambiguity of the world — devotion juxtaposed next to perversity, childishness to maturity, morality to licentiousness, truth to falsity, or beauty next to kitsch. She has participated in over 60 exhibitions in Poland, Europe and the USA.
Desert Projekt is a fun and colorful collaboration between Polish artist Julia Curylo and American photographer Craig Deman. The paintings are inspired by the Californian Desert and express how she connects and views the desert using her different lenses coming from a different culture and a rich imagination.
Krystyna is an accomplished contemporary tapestry artist whose unique experimental workincorporates a dynamic range of textures, designs, colors, and materials. Her use of recycledmaterials, transcend art activism, creating beauty out of environmental waste.
Krystyna’s works of woven art have been exhibited in Asia, Europe, Canada, and the US and her work is found in collections around the world. She is a laureate of numerous prizes and awards including the Excellence Award at the Fibre Art Biennial (Nantong, China), Juror’s Choice Award at AOE’s “Selections” exhibition (Ottawa, Ontario) and Honourable Mention at Juried Art
Exhibit – Cumberland City Hall, (Orleans, Ontario).
Justyna’s ever-fluid work strives to capture the essence of a single moment in time and, with it, the greater essence of the narrative of life. Primarily working with the medium of photography and mixed-media fibre art, Justyna focuses on texture, light, and energy. Vacillating between the abstract and classical, between the unconventional and the technical use of her medium, and influenced by spoken word, dance, and music, her work is a continuous story that ties the tangible to the ethereal.
“Momentum” is a part of Justyna’s “Painting with Light” series, in which Justyna uses the medium of photography to pay homage to the tradition of contemporary and abstract painting. She uses her camera as a brush, allowing her own motion to create the images as her chosen scene stays still – the final image being the finished canvas.
LAURA BELEVICA is a Latvian architect, photographer and multi-media artist who has worked on a large variety of international multi-disciplinary projects focusing on storytelling and creative direction- from print, animation, film and production design in VR to art installations, buildings and large scale urban environments. Nature, color and light are her primary inspirations in all of her work. Her work has been exhibited, published and awarded in the US, UK, EU, China and Japan.
Shadow Series is an example of simulacrum: an attempt to expand perception and find meaning in shadows of two categories of subject matter: “Artifacts” and “The Other Selves”. The former explores extraordinary in the shadows of mundane objects found in nature. The latter finds potential in the shadows of human beings- literally as well as metaphorically. Be it a stick, a stone, a dry leaf or a human being- the subject is photographed to capture their unique shadows and then transformed to reveal an alternative interpretation of its original identity. Mixing photography, drawing and storytelling, Shadow Series ultimately is an exercise in organic metamorphosis.
“Talk Dirty To Me”
Tomek Albin &
The way we perceive, desire and experience food is complicated.
It can be tasty, sensual but also repulsive.
We live in times of incredibly fast development, in the world of consumerism, overloaded with information from mass media, we hide our true desires, dreams and needs.
“Talk Dirty To Me” is a project about celebration, shame, sexuality and fetishes.
A series of photographs tell a story that each of us experiences while feeling pleasure while eating. Here, however, through an allegory of something sensual and nice, we raise the subject deeply rooted in our culture, revealing a serious problem of shame and body worship. In the era of the ubiquitous Internet and fashion for digital exhibitionism, we display annihilated images designed to draw the viewer’s attention to the problems of modern society.
We are ashamed of what we want.
Credits for photographs:
Concept & art direction: Tomek Albin & JAGODYstudio
photo & retouch: Tomek Albin
set design & food styling: JAGODYstudio
Credits for movie:
TALK DIRTY TO ME film by JAGODYstudio & Tomek Albin
Concept & Production: JAGODYstudio & Tomek Albin
Dir: Jaga Zmudzinska/JAGODYstudio
DOP & Light : Tomek Albin & Janek Pietrzak & Czarek Kazimierowski
Set Design & Food: Agnieszka Zientarska/JAGODYstudio
Edit & Color: Frydrych&Zdanowski
Music & Sound: Tomasz Toczkowski
Casting: Czarek Kazimierowski
Model: Julia Bienkowska
MUA & hair: Vika May
Making of: Bartek Andrzejewski
Stage Hand/Students: Agata Pulawska, Dawid Szablewski, Michal Mikulski, Mateusz Kostka
Graphic Design: Hand Job Yeah
Tomek Albin (born in 1981) is a visual artist, who successfully combines conceptual work in still life, landscape and in commercial portrait projects. He graduated from the Faculty of Multimedia Communications at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznań, and started his career as a reporter subsequently turning his interest towards relationship between individual and advertising projects. Both in his art and in commercial projects, he captures pristine, perfectly planned landscapes that he manages to unfold looking at the places where there is no light – imbuing nocturnal spaces with eerily beautiful, cinematic mood. Work with long exposures and detailed compositions characterises also his sterile still life photographs, inspired by geometry and sculpture. His distinctive style has resulted in multiple collaborations with major advertising agencies and clients across Europe, as well as numerous awards. Parallel to his commercial activity, he develops his personal projects that have been exhibited in galleries all over Poland. Since 2013 Tomek also teaches photography as a lecturer at the National Film School in Łódź, where he leads advertising and conceptual workshop.
JAGODYstudio is a creative duo that has begun collaborating in 2007. Agnieszka Zientarska (born in 1979) graduated from Interior and Industrial Design Faculty of Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan and Jaga Zmudzinska (born in 1983) graduated from Scenography and Fashion Design Faculty of Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan. As designers, they are known for their highly conceptual and holistic design approach. Over the decade, they worked on a broad range of projects for the biggest Polish brands, delivering exceptional quality and fresh perspective into brand identity. The cooperation with photo and film industry is a natural evolution of their professional and personal interests. It combines their unlimited imagination with practice in a wide variety of artistic fields. They strive to control the visual aspect of the creative process from a creative concept to production design and directing. Their portfolio contains both commercial and artistic projects and includes many collaborations with Polish photographers and filmmakers. They share living and working between two studios in Poznan and Warsaw in Poland.
Opening Reception Special Guest:
Mezzo-soprano Katarzyna Sadej was born in Wrocław, Poland. She sings internationally in concert, opera, chamber music, oratorio and recital; she has debuted at many of the world’s most prestigious venues has performed in over a dozen countries. Katarzyna has performed numerous world premieres and has had over a dozen new works composed especially for her. Her voice and performances have been described as “nothing short of enthralling” and “thrilling to hear”.