Marcin owczarek

 

Born in October 1985 in Poland.
At the age of twenty, he began studying photography at The College of Photography in Wroclaw, Poland, graduating with an honorable mention for his cycle Brave New World, which presented an idiosyncratic version of a future world. Owczarek is fascinated with the influence of new technologies over human life, particularly within urban space. Focusing on the issues of mechanization and standardization, he tackles them in an antiutopian style. Owczarek is interested in shamanism, gnosticism, alchemy. His art has also been influenced by the content of the Tibetan Book of the Dead, as well as his studies in cultural anthropology.

 


ART FAIRS:
Amsterdam - Brussels - Paris - London - Rotterdam - Cape Town - Vilnius - Knokke - Johannesburg - Stockholm - Budapest


ART PHOTO Budapest, Hungary (ARTCO Galerie), 2016
FNB Joburg Art Fair, Johannesburg, South Africa (ARTCO Galerie), 2016
Cape Town Art Fair, South Africa (ARTCO Galerie), 2016
Rotterdam Contemporary Art Fair, The Netherlands (Eduard Planting Gallery), 2016
THAT Art Fair, South Africa (ARTCO Galerie), 2016
AAF Stockholm, Sweden (HICKS Gallery), 2016
Realisme Art Fair Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Eduard Planting Gallery), 2016
PAN Amsterdam Art Fair, The Netherlands (Eduard Planting Gallery), 2015
START Art Fair, Saatchi Gallery, UK (ARTCO Galerie), 2015
Classic Event Expo, Belgium (ART14 Gallery), 2015
Cape Town Art Fair, South Africa (ARTCO Galerie), 2015
Art Vilnius Fair, Lithuania (ARTCO Galerie), 2015
Art Nocturne Knocke, Knokke-Heist, Belgium (ART14 Gallery), 2013
Fotofever Brussels, Brussels, Belgium (Solo Exhibition), 2012
Chic Art Fair, Paris, France (Golden Brain Gallery), 2011
Artief , Art Fair, Diest, Belgium, 2011


SELECTED EXHIBITIONS:
'Staging & Revelation IV', AFK Gallery, Lisbon, Portugal, 2016
'Targets', ARTCO Galerie, Germany, 2016
'Reality and Beyond', ART14 Gallery, Lier, Belgium, 2016 'Paradise Lost', ARTCO Galerie, Germany (Solo Exhibition), 2015
'Fine Art Selection 2014', ARTCO Galerie, Germany, 2014
'Human Rights - Memento' Exhibition, Trento, Italy, 2014
'Illusion', ART 14 Gallery, Belgium (Solo Exhibition), 2013
'Ritual' Festival, Wrocław, Poland, 2013
'Going Back to The Roots', BWA Gallery, Bielsko-Biała, Poland, 2013
'The Ninth Circle of Obsession', Tartu Art House, Estonia, 2013
'Dystopia', Golden Brain Gallery, Paris, France, 2012 'Game Over!', NovaBelgica Art Gallery, Belgium, 2012 'Salon Arcano', Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2012
'Biennale du Lyon', France (Golden Brain Gallery), 2011 'Heavy Metal Show', NovaBelgica Art Gallery, Belgium, 2011
ARTWORKS IN PRIVATE COLLECTIONS:
Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Poland, United Kingdom, South Africa, USA

 

ARTIST STATEMENT / MARCIN OWCZAREK

My art has always focused on the condition of our globe and the condition of man. I use photography and collage to create surreal images that are thematically focused on identity, dreams, new technologies, bio-science, the unconscious, morals, social situations, behaviors, habits, rituals, biological changes, depression in urban environments- which have significant impact on human life. To observe. To document. As a result, I create the image of the 21 century and the image of our current society filled with allusions, metaphors, allegories.

Before starting new work, I always do a conceptual sketch which is very deliberate. I never use particular characters accidentally. The universe I create and the reflection I want to transmit, must be shaped in perfect way. In case of characters I employ for example animals - as symbols or allegories. In this way they reflect human's virtue or imperfection. In many of my images I use birds since they symbolize the human soul trapped in the mortal body. In my work called 'The Last Drop of Water' I employed elephants. Elephant is a symbol of peace, strength, compassion and wisdom. In Tibet elephant holds the whole cosmos. On my image elephants are burning and they long for water. I think the interpretation is obvious. Other example when I use monuments or buildings, these elements have also historical, metaphorical or symbolic connotations. For instance, the main building in my artwork 'The Keeper of the City Key' is library. If we refer to the symbolic language, we learn that library is defined as the source of mystery, knowledge and might. The library is also very closely related to labyrinth, that is why all these mannequins in my image are forced to lead with labyrinth (of life).

By using various symbols and depth of meaning intentionally, I want my art to be interpreted on many levels. Therefore you can also notice that there are many smaller images in one image I finish. This subtle meanings tells you – you can open as many doors as you want and interpret my collages day after day in different way. Possibilities are endless.

‘PARADISE LOST’: AN ESSAY BY MARCIN OWCZAREK The Book of Genesis describes the biblical Garden of Eden (Paradise) which was created by God for the first man and woman - Adam and Eve. It is believed that God formed human beings to live in a Paradise and told them to multiply and coexist with animals, plants and everything else that He had made. It was the time of innocence; the first humans lived with God in harmony with nature. The rivers and lakes were crystal clear and no thievery or sin was known. In the garden, God placed the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the eating of whose fruits was prohibited. Tricked by the serpent, Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the forbidden tree and were banished from Paradise in consequence. The expulsion was a fact. The Paradise was lost. The soul was trapped in a mortal body. The act of the fruit’s consumption was deemed the original sin committed by Adam and Eve, and subsequently became known as the Fall of Man. The Fall corrupted both human nature and the entire natural world. In that moment, humankind became mortal, the state of innocence passed away and the present world full of suffering and injustice was instituted. It is important to recall that, from this moment onwards, people were also forced to embark on a search for redemption, seeking ways to restore the state of innocence and attain eternal life once more.

As my art focuses chiefly on the human condition, I attempted to find the best metaphor for the current phase of my artistic process and remembered the ‘mythical catastrophe’ known as ‘The Fall’. As a result, I decided to use it as a conceptual spectrum and metaphor for my own subjective reflections which are taken from the contemporary world, and named the series of photographs ‘Paradise Lost’. I believe that this title perfectly combines the ‘fallen past’ with the 21st century. My series of photographs links the idea of the degradation of the first humans with the degeneration of humanity through the centuries up to the present day. The title is symbolic, and describes the state of being away from the holy space inhabited by God, the lack of justice, the weakness of will, tendency to moral evil, jealousy, hypocrisy, greediness and wars. The question I ask in ‘Paradise Lost’ is: what is our relationship with other human beings and the planet? How do we treat the planet in which we live? Why, through the centuries, has humanity failed to find a cure for the general madness which reigns, all those burning landscapes and wars which are still present in the human world? What is the meaning of ‘Art’ in ‘Lost Paradise’? My intention was to conduct an investigation into the depths of human existence, creating images which move the audience and inspire serious reflection. In my opinion, art should lead us towards the truth and give testimony about this planet. To me, art doesn’t have to be ‘pretty’ or ‘nice’, but must transmit significant meaning and chart historical changes. In my narrative, the journey begins in biblical times, addressing Ancient Greek and Indo-European cultural myths before finally encountering contemporary dystopian societies which are unable to cope adequately with technology, as technological progress is far more rapid than humanity's spiritual evolution. I think that we initially need to understand the influence of the past before being able to reveal and describe the present world we live in. Although my artworks belong to our daily life, I intentionally refer to the past and anticipate the future. If, as it is said, it is true that humanity is, in essence, a single family, with everyone descended from a single pair of original ancestors, why do we fight and fail to respect one another? Why has man proved to be so destructive and devastated the planet so intensely, simultaneously eradicating most animal species known in Paradise – elephants, rhinoceroses, wolves, seals and fish? One interpretation has it that, after the Fall of Man, Paradise was finally destroyed by the great flood. I believe we still have time and can change the shape of the present world in order to avoid another catastrophe of this magnitude. Marcin Owczarek, 2015