Exhibition Wojciech Brewka, Portraits captured, Warsaw 2014

 

A Vibrant Menagerie

Wojtek Brewka is one of the most interesting figures in the Poland’s young art scene. He swiftly conquered the hearts of collectors, and let us be honest, their wallets as well. You can like his art or not, but everyone will admit that this artist’s story is beyond doubt fascinating.

Brewka is a self-taught person. Still, he can boast pretty impressive educational accolades, yet in the field of law. He began his adventure into art, like many other young people, with street art. He compulsively bombarded the city with graffiti and stickers. This type of exploits usually does not last long, however, not in case of Brewka.

The last 4 or 5 years marked a meaningful period in the street artists’ presence on the Polish art market. Wojtek Brewka is not part of this trend, even though he did not abandon his urban activities and urban aesthetics is still close to his heart. He chose his own path, concentrating on easel painting. He developed his own technique that comprises both classic academic tools and the ones used by street artists. Essentially, he oil pants on canvas, but you can also find pieces of newspapers, cloth or nitro paints in his works. Wojtek Brewka’s technique emanates with an exceptional freedom, artistic erudition, absolute negation of all limits, and at the same time, great skillfulness, attention to detail, and deep awareness of the produced effects. Brewka knows what he is doing and what he wants to achieve. His works give the illusion of having been so effortlessly created that it makes them unpretentiously charming.

Wojtek Brewka wants to bring his art closer to a mass audience. This is why he makes copies of his works in the form of stickers and inundates the city with them. This type of activity is the epitome of the artist’s mind-set. What he wants the most is to connect with people. The dialogue is the priority. After all, he did not escape the lawyer’s office not to keep his art to himself. On the contrary, he wants it to be recognized and enjoyed. And this is exactly what happens.

The subject of Wojtek Brewka’s painting is permeated with animalistic themes. It is irrelevant for the artist whether his model is an exotic giraffe or the common bull. He gives the animals a personal touch, building their own character. These creations are always full of humor, yet never to the point of being obtrusive. Along with freedom, here comes another characteristic feature of Brewka’s art – lightness. The artist does not force anything on us, not even a smile. He chooses those animals that the Nature created in a bit caricatured way and which in spite of – or maybe thanks to their specific features – can so well survive in the wilderness. Thus, Brewka finds inspiration in an elephant’s big ears, a toucan’s oversized beak, a giraffe’s long neck or a bull’s massive nape. These are the animals that people love the most and cherish the warmest feelings for. Additionally, they reflect own flaws – being too overweight, too short, with protruding ears or orange peel.

Brewka’s paintings are immensely expressive symbols in space. He uses super vivid, almost opalescent colors. He is great at contrasts. He likes surprising the viewers with the precision of a pasted collage element or control seemingly random paint patches. His painting is definitely genuine and gives the artist a great amount of pleasure. The lack of any pose or pretense has won him a lot of enthusiasts in a very short period of time.

The art of Wojtek Brewka is easy, without any elaborate and detached theses. It is not polemical, it does not confront every-day dilemmas, instead, it is joyful and truly ornamental. But does good art really have to be always so deeply intellectual? Maybe sometimes it is better when it simply brings us joy, pleasure and respite. Certainly, I am aware of the fact that nowadays the concept of beauty is completely obsolete, especially when it comes to art, it is poorly viewed just to sit back and enjoy. Yet… as I am writing these words, I remind myself of a an artist a couple of generations older than Brewka, whom you may either love or hate, but whose works of art would never leave you indifferent. The media implied that he creates just for money, which they most likely will never say about Brewka. His metallic rabbits resembling toys made of twisted balloons or glittering, inflated flowers may be found in the world’s greatest museums, Versailles including. Everybody knows who I am talking about.

Agnieszka Gniotek

 

Title: Wojciech Brewka – Captured Portraits “Animal Portraits” Series

  1. Unmoved Outcast: 120×160, acrylic on canvas, 2014
  2. Cubist Natural Changes: 120×160, acrylic, oil on canvas, 2014
  3. I Appreciate and Adore: 120×160, acrylic, oil on canvas, 2014
  4. Narcissism Created: 100×150, acrylic on canvas, 2014
  5. Completion: 100×150, acrylic on canvas, 2014
  6. Abdication: 120×160, acrylic on canvas, 2014
  7. 30 Centimeters over Sidewalks: 120×180, acrylic on canvas, 2014
  8. Comeback Filled with Air: 120×190, acrylic on canvas, 2014
  9. Supremacy: 120×160, acrylic, oil on canvas, 2014
  10. Fully Aware Outsider: 100×150, acrylic on canvas, 2014
  11. 370 Grams of Freedom: 100×150, acrylic on canvas, 2014
  12. Stag, Unnamed Portrait: 120×160, acrylic, oil on canvas, 2014
  13. Theoretical Model: 120×160, acrylic on canvas, 2014
  14. Influences: 120×160, acrylic on canvas, 2014
  15. Outside the Framework of Reality: 120×180, acrylic on canvas, 2014
  16. Absorption: 114×145, acrylic on canvas, 2014

 

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