Aleksandra Waliszewska

born 1976

Aleksandra Waliszewska is called the ‘painter of the Apocalypse’. She consistently dissociates herself from traditions the avant-garde and modern traditions, and instead draws inspiration from early art and its narrative and figurativeness, for example the Italian Quattrocento, Dutch painting, or the work of Jan Ziarnko, a 17th century draughtsman and printmaker. The logic of dreams and the recurring themes of domination, oppression, and sexual subordination, as well as the motifs of bestiality, inter-species connections, bloodthirsty behaviours, and the hybridity of the body guide Waliszewska’s work. The gouaches from the DJ Putifara (the artists DJ-ing alias) series presented in the catalogue represent the domineering woman whose weapons are animals and the victims are men. Waliszewska thus refers to the biblical parable about Putifar, who bought Joseph as a slave, and his wife. When he rejected her advances, Putifar's wife slandered Joseph accused him of sinful intentions towards her. The exhibition also includes works in which the painter successfully renders the psychedelic and Gothic atmosphere of various topographies: the stuffy provinces, lost highways, deserted suburbs, and gloomy housing estates. Within this oneiric landscape the artist inserts scenes of disintegration and violence. These ‘genre scenes’, however, are not underpinned by pathos — rather, they represent a ghastly reality that obliterates our ideas about progress and linear continuity.

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