Wojtek Pukocz

What is closer to us than our decorative nature … more

Games we play…

Is there anything closer to us than we ourselves? Wojciech Pukocz is a painter who never stops craving the picture of the human nature. In his sensitive, figurative reflection, telling stories about the systematic genus struggle, he catches the moment as an animal did to get a human: Showing people’s immanent issues and their genuine faces, so persistently masked and negated, but in their animal nature so undeniable and true.

It seems that we are perfectly capable of continuing the tales of cowardly hares, meek lambs, stubborn donkeys, cuckolded deers and faithful dogs. It is hard to shake off a feeling that the gallery of characters, the post-Balzacian human comedy, has its origin in the petit bourgeois sphere, effect-oriented and willing to hide the realities of life. All the subjects are allegorical, symbolical and of course referring to a broader artistic but also general, universal perspective.

Our “decorative nature” sustained by grace of formally undecorative features spreads its effect in a ridiculously monumental expression. Square pictures dealing with human anatomy with backgrounds resembling stereograms: The main elements were reproduced from iconographic resources of old scientific books, again diverting us a bit from the contemporary. The inversely directed vector pushes us towards the future, though, into some futuristic research, not necessarily medical, but a virtual reality represented by the backgrounds resembling stereograms. Canvas surfaces treated this way bring to mind specific visual cryptography. If we look closer at the pattern backgrounds, we will see that the complicated ornament originates from oversized or diminished organs and other elements of human anatomy: the heart, the stapes of the ear, ribs, shinbones and other parts of the skeleton. It seems it is not just a formal play. But an universal value, an icon.

The other extreme of nature is the ornamental stripe of wallpaper, a recurrence typical of old pattern painting or more recently – stencilling. The decorativeness of the artist’s pictures achieved by means of thick black contours around the central motif, visuality of the whole representation, intensive contrastive colours, rhythmicity of background elements and the discipline of axial, even symmetrical composition bring to mind yet another association – that with stained glass in a chapel window. We are left in the middle of a network of interpretations which form an intriguing pattern themselves.

Restless, curious, migrating smoothly between artistic genres and various stylistics, equally committed to making films, music and installations, Pukocz is an artist who never ceases to explore and experiment with new media and various techniques and stylistics, for whom a framed picture traditionally classified as an object of collectors’ desire is still definitely not enough, but the first playful gesture, a visual symbol of the beginning of the story.

His works have everything that is nowadays associated with the output of a real, “flesh and blood” painter – not only the typical painterly themes the artist tackles in a polemical way, but also the consistent technical discipline.