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Jakub Julian Ziółkowski


painting; oil on plywood; 28x36 cm

Julian Ziółkowski's painting expresses the artists personal imaginary. It refers to the biblical theme of creation and original sin, but presents a vision that is significantly different from its traditional representations. The world created by the artist resembles a puddle covered with frogs spawn. The primal woman is disgusting, covered in strange protuberances gushing water; instead of the biblical Adam, we see a group of lethargic men resembling octopuses and other strange creatures. Dressed casually, with cigarettes in their mouth, they idly wait for something or someone, while the forbidden fruit takes the form of a giant frogs leg.

The artist has incorporated details and kinds of behaviour observed today with images of fantastic beasts and landscapes that resemble Hieronymus Boschs Garden of Earthly Delights. The grotesque portrayal of the origins of the world combines various religious and cultural codes with todays social realities. The painting seems simultaneously archaic and contemporary, but presents a vision so coherent, that it actually seems coherent.

Jakub Julian Ziółkowski is a painter, sculptor, illustrator and the author of set design for Pit-Bull play at the Rozmaitości Theatre. In 2005, he graduated from the Faculty of Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow. Ziółkowskis work features numerous references to various trends in twentieth century painting, as well as to popular culture, including graphic novels. What binds these various inspirations is the artists boundless imagination, far removed from the real world. The paintings he creates can be compared to the works of, among others, Bosch, Kandinsky, Witkacy, or Mondrian. The artist claims that ideas for paintings are born spontaneously in his head. The narratives he creates are quite extensive and contain various concealed meanings, the unravelling of which can be quite a challenge for the viewer.