Zdzisław Beksiński (24 February 1929 – 21 February 2005) was a Polish painter , photographer and sculptor who is well known for his dystopian , haunting and mysterious paintings , often involving horrific elements such as skeletons , cemeteries , distorted human figures or post-apocalyptic scenes.Most of his work was oil painting.Despite his dark themes , he wasn’t at all a grim person , rather he was a very pleasent and joyful guy.
He graduated from the Faculty of Architecture at the Kraków Polytechnic with M.Sc. in 1952.After that , he worked as a construction site supervisor , a job he hated because of the boring manner in which he had to work.Without any preparation as an artist , but with a strong eye for details formed in the Faculty , he threw himself with passion in painting.In the first part of his life as a painter, we see clearly the influence studying architecture had on him and on his manner of adding details to surrealist structures and desolate landscapes.
Time passed and surrealism started to grow in Beksiński.As we see , he begun painting in a more fantastic and disturbing way , creating the grim and haunting figures he is most associated with.He begun to draw distorted female figures and a big percentage of his work gained a sexual theme.He didn’t recognize his art as being frightening or depressive , as some people may call it.He thought about his art as something optimistic , rather joyful.And if we talk about this sexual theme , we will discover that we can see in his paintings the beauty of sex or the beauty of love after we ignore the dystopian backgrounds or the haunting figures.
That’s important for us because we can see beauty in places we didn’t even think to look for it.Right now , and even back then in Beksiński’s times , the society had a big misconception about beauty in art.The society created a concept for beauty that involved only happy places , happy people , bright colors , flowers , beautiful women , and is nothing wrong with that , but it limits the true art.And Beksinski demonstrated us that „beauty” can be found in any form of art.He showed us that darker themes can improve our vision about art and beauty.Cemeteries , skeletons , grim landscapes , all of these are as artistic as flowers and stars.And these are not the only elements that shine in his paintings, we also have the colours which are wonderfully combined , the way Beksiński manipulates light and the fantastic precision of details…
His paintings didn’t have any titles and the artist didn’t have any idea about their meanings.He tried to capture dreams in oil and not to think with his brain about what he did , but with his heart.The fact that he didn’t know the meanings of his painting doesn’t mean there was no idea behind it , but rather that it represented the basic expression of his subconscious feelings , which were the core of his soul.We can say that his paintings were not made as much for the eye , as for the soul , since it tells us so many things and it gives us so many feels just by looking at them.And is important for us to understand that we can perceive true art only with our souls.
The last point I’m going to make is : We have a lot to learn from artists , especially from those who did put their soul in their work.And Beksiński is one of those artists because his art gives us powerful feelings that make us remember who we really are.