Pictures and… pictures – Zapiecek gallery exhibition

24.09.- 5.10.2001

The title of this exhibition – Pictures and… pictures came to me while working on a painting, which has a very strange story. I saved this painting from being thrown in abin in Wiesbaden gallery where I had an exhibition last year. It was a modern, not very successful, copy of a Dutch still life, painted on a canvas, on a very solid stretcher. I decided to paint my own painting on this copy. I have always been interested in possibilities of transforming already completed paintings, photographs or other discovered articles. Paradoxically, I often paint the “completed” painting myself, which is apretext, an inspiration for the real work. I seldom use the works of others. (Although I dream about an exhibition, where I can display just my works painted originally by other artists). This picture (reproduced on the right in its original form) I called “picture and… picture”.

First it was a XVII century Dutch still life, then a XX-century copy-version (?), and now my comment: a painting of a painting of a painting (a picture of a picture of a picture). Working on it, I have realised that this method is characteristic not only of this work, but of all my paintings. Each of them has been painted on some other painting, even though the other was just a mental construct. Each of them has along, sometimes even many years history of “becoming”.

As results from a physiology of seeing, what we see is a real picture only in a formative stage, which reaches us through our eyes. We “see” more through the brain, which interprets the pictures coming from our eyes, filtering them through our knowledge, emotions and experience. A picture (real) and apicture (realised) are two different pictures. In our memory the pictures join together, overlap and create a simply unbelievable emotionally-visual magma. What do we see when to try to remember a picture from
our childhood room? Remembering, noticing those billions of pieces of information, of which each individual real picture is formed, is practically impossible for anyone. We “see” only simplified pieces, symbols and semantic idioms of reality or just some sounds, some smells…

In my work I do not want, or even try, to show what is real. I rather refer to pictures which appear in my consciousness and perhaps because of this, I paint what is really real. When painting “a rose” I try to show what is the subjective essence of emotion and knowledge which is included in the picture of this “rose”. This can only be afragment or a chain of other pictures and associations, which have merged in my consciousness with this rose; some music, some literature, some history… memory.

All philosophers from Plato to Heidegger dealt with the problem of noticing and realising surroundings. They did not succeed in defining finally, or even in explaining, what is consciousness itself. More explanations of this subject can be found in art; poetry, music, etc. I try to show this in my work, so I do not paint what I see, but I try to show the process of seeing and the different mutations of pictures appearing in our consciousness, due to the passing of time and to other physical-psychical mysteries.

The painting which became the inspiration for the title of my exhibition, merges in itself, in short, my desire to dig through this kitsch copy to the world of the “little Dutch paintings” with what Iexperience now. This is the essential, adefinition of my method. The picture in the picture… (painting of a painting)

This text is not amanifesto at all, it’s just another effort to understand myself…