Marcin Owczarek: Revealing the World
We’ve been warned. Remember the words of Aldous Huxley or George Orwel? Huxley offered a dismal future hidden behind a facade of peace and happiness. What Orwell suggested in 1984 is a dismal future full of lies and deceit. Marcin Owczarek provides another reminder of what could, and what will happen in the future if we’re not cautious. However, for Owczarek, those dystopian predictions have come to reality.“Even if my artworks seem to be ‘dark’ or ‘apocalyptic’ – this is how our present world looks like in every single detail under the mask,” the artist said in an interview with VA Mag. Though “dark” is quick to come to mind, Owczarek prefers to stray away from that definition. He’d rather have no label attached to his artwork.
“I don’t want to call it ‘dark art,’ since it is not dark art. I don’t want to be compared with Hieronymus Bosch or Pieter Bruegel. I know their paintings, but I never tried to follow the style they achieved. I’m also far away from putting any label on my art. I would prefer that the spectator gets enchanted with my work with his own way,” Owczarek told VA Mag.
Originally from Wroclaw, Poland, the now Belgium located artist realized his love for art around age 17 when he created his first paper collage.
“As far as I remember, that day I came back home and took [a] couple of newspapers. Then, I cut two elements out, first was [a] dead bird laying on the ground, the second was [an] orchestra playing in philharmonic. It was my first paper-collage and first artwork ever created. That first collage I called ‘Requiem.’ Since that day, I decided [to] consciously and constantly follow the ‘path of art’ [until] this very moment,” the artist said with VA Mag.
After his initial realization, Owczarek continued to experiment with different mediums until he found his ultimate form of expression – photography. To create his collages, there are hundreds of pictures within the final piece. This requires a lot of time and patience to complete just one piece. Owczarek told VA Mag that it took three months to complete his painting called “Democracy.”
The amount of work it takes to birth something of this caliber is evident. Each piece of the final product stands out on its own. There is art within the art, a story within the story. Every aspect is carefully placed, leaving nothing to chance.
“I use in my artworks the whole range of monuments and buildings, but never accidentally. These elements have historical, metaphorical or symbolic connotations, like [the] library, which in symbolic language can be defined as the source of knowledge, mystery, might or labyrinth. They are totally elaborate works,” Owczarek told VA Mag.
The artist explains that “the apocalyptic world around us” is where he finds most of his inspiration.
“Even if you walk through the crowded street, there [are] so many human faces full of wrinkles, personal problems, depression. Among that: beggars, dead birds, angry car drivers, noise, stress, sweat, walls…and you ask yourself how does it work altogether? And how to describe this madness…. If I need inspiration I travel, I talk to other people, I experience that blind force which run[s] this world and I try to keep [those] feelings in my images.”
He is also an avid reader. Michel Foucault and Friedrich Nietzsche provided commentary on social order and the masses, so these writers, among others, have been of great inspiration to the artist. But for most people it’s not just about inspiration and dreams. There are visible problems in the art scene. Owczarek said mass media plays a major part in the conflict.
“Unfortunately, mass media doesn’t pay attention to the artists who have something important to say. They are forgotten. They drift far away from the mainstream; very few people hear about them. Those undiscovered artists are catalysts, living in the underground improve the contemporary art scene,” Owczarek said. To continue moving forward, Owczarek makes a point to constantly challenge himself. He’s always trying to move to the next level. For him, learning is key.
“I permanently try to improve my skills and I never think I have already reached perfection. In my case, I always want to transcend my present art condition and I constantly long for transformation. I think there [are] still many things to learn, discover and improve,” he said. To define a real artist, Owczarek advises the public to: “Sacrifice your life to the idea you believe in!” By looking at his pieces, showing the world as it really is seems to be his message. His images hold a mirror up to society by “revealing what’s under the mask.”