Art is Violence
Earthware, latex, wood; various dimensions
One of the themes of Olaf Brzeski’s works is to undertake the challenge of interpreting classic sculpture themes, deeply rooted in the tradition of this discipline. Monstrosity and depiction of monstrosity form yet another motif frequently recurring in the artist’s work.
These two themes meet in the series Art Is Violence. The artist tackled the theme of a bust on a pedestal, a form developed by classical art that managed to survive in the European tradition until the threshold of modernity. Brzeski does not go beyond the bounds of convention preserved by history, but one can observe the processes of metamorphosis, mutation, and even degeneration of images taking place within that territory. Art Is Violence is a gallery of portrait busts, albeit these are portraits of monsters. Some of them have human, while most animal faces, but these countenances are always deformed, disfigured by excessive swelling tissue, captured in the state of a disturbing transformation.
The two themes present in the project Art Is Violence are united by the artist’s iconoclastic gesture. The works from this cycle are made of white, glazed ceramics. The aggressive expression of exaggerated, Baroque sculptures conceals the material’s fragility; Brzeski broke some of the pieces, and then laboriously, piece by piece, glued them together again. The cracked ceramic busts are a testimony of the artist’s violence against his own creations, and, consequently against himself.
Text: Stach Szabłowski / Translation: T.J.