Foreman, Handyman, Michał

This is an installation that extends over the entire exhibition room. The viewer is confronted with an overwhelming atmosphere. The heavy smell of leather mixes with the smell of cake. The room has little access to light. My work deals with the problem of depression.

I asked my father once:
“If you would like to have your portrait done, who should paint it then?”

He replied, without even thinking for a second:
“The painter of the Lascaux cave. A caveman”

“What a strange, yet sophisticated concept!” I thought. If at that time my dad had wanted to know who I would have chosen, I’d have answered – himself.

The painting that you see at this very moment - heavily warped, placed on the table together with a birthday cake - is was painted by my father when he was 17 years old. It symbolizes for me my childhood. Even though it had never found its place on the walls of our apartment, it always discreetly reminded itself – from behind the closet. Conscious of its suppressed presence, I often thought of unfulfilled aspiration of my father – whose name is Mieczysław, after all, and Michał, for loved ones. Before Mieczysław had met an attractive Mariola and had abandoned his dream of career as an artist in support of the (dis)comfort of a family unit, painting was a home for him, a safe homeland, a utopian refugee. It’s one of the very few pictures he dared to paint, resonates with his personality. A strange calmness of energy - that cannot be expressed into words - vibrates in me every time I stay near my dad or when I look at this tattered canvas. I want to see a ship filled with crazy people, a real ship of fools that will never  reach the sources of its prosperity, but will create its own organic, pulsating with madness mechanism of concern for everyday life, disharmony of body and mind. It is there, the passengers agitated in stillness, without light and hope, will find a home – a house of peaceful madmen.

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