The clean, homogenous, minimalist background, which constitutes the basis for the whole series of still lifes composed so carefully by Paweł Żak enhances the expressive power of these sophisticated photographs. Single objects – pink balloons, a blooming twig, a loaf of bread, seashells, a flag – are usually the main focus points. These objects, alienated from their contexts, from time and space, offer enormous space for individual interpretation. In Paweł Żak's photographs from the Core Curriculum And Other Still Lifes series every smallest detail has its own meaning, or rather a captivating multitude of senses. The essence of still life in Paweł Żak’s photographs seems to be hidden in the symbolic layer, carefully underlined by the use of only a few means of expression. The author, who has been creating cycles of still life photographs for many years, is perfectly aware of the history of art and looks for inspiration in the best role models – Dutch painters, Japanese art, abstract art. As an unusually sensitive artist, he creates truly original photographs, full of references, refined in every detail. This creative process starts with precise sketches made on paper, then compositions are created and captured by Paweł Żak with a camera. There is no room for any mistake, because each photo is a single frame, without any tampering with the photograph itself.
Watching the photographs from this series brings solace and stimulation at the same time. Solace is the sense of relief from the overload of visual stimuli that we experience every single day. Stimulation, because our mind gets an impulse to create its own interpretations, free from the literal meanings.
Studied social sciences on the University of Warsaw. Graduate of the Multimedia Communication Faculty of the Poznan Academy of Fine Arts. Teaching photography at the Faculty of Journalism at the University of Warsaw, and ZPAF Warsaw School of Photography. Laureate of, amongst others, Prix de la Lumierre at European Photography Contest- Vevey, Switzerland 1998. In In his work, two trends can be distinguished: staged photography with strong symbolic meaning, and compositionally minimal studies of nature - most often plants, fruits, sometimes landscapes. Many of his works are created using unusual copying techniques resulting in unique prints. Since 1994 he participated in several dozens of collective exhibitions, dozens of individual exhibitions at home and abroad, including the Arles festival in 2004. His works are in public collections: • Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris • National Museum in Warsaw • Center for Contemporary Art in Warsaw • Museum of Art in Łódź • and in numerous private collections in Poland and abroad.
Represented by 6x7 Leica Gallery Warsaw.
Sleńdzińskis’ Gallery, 5 Wiktorii Street / open until 31.10.2021, Tue-Sun (Mon & Sat- closed), 11:00 do 17:00, also open 25.10.2021, 11:00 – 17:00