48 Minimalist Romantic Paintings By Polish Artist Jarek Puczel

Painting by Artist Jarek Puczel

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Painting by Artist Jarek Puczel

Jarek Puczel (JAROSŁAW PUCZEL)
Born in 1965 in Poland, Puczel graduated from the University of Warsaw and have gained his artistic experience as a filmmaker, graphic designer and painter. He views his style as emotional, but calming, reduced in shape and color. Building stories, but pointing at illusion and unveiling the materiality of paints. Showing the individuals, but talking about a common human experiences.

There is also probably something deeply “Eastern European” in his style. You can even feel the heritage of painting icons: human figures are reduced in details to their main psychological features, and depicted mainly on a flat backgrounds (it souds like an echo of the notion, that outside world doesn’t matter).

Paradoxically, such an old-time “iconic heritage” can be regarded… as a progressive conceptual basis. “By the way, the outside world realy doesn’t exist, as quantum physics teaches us.” In his “Lovers” series he focuses on deeply hidden, intimate connections between couples.

These two people create the deepest field of emotional experiences, the strongest tensions, field of learning through love and pain. But of course, you can’t see anything unless you’re not inside as a intimate participant. Outside viewer sees nothing, so we are “censored or protected”.

The paint shows and covers at the same time. The surface gets wavy, subjected to an alternating rhythm of disturbances, tensions and calms. And we are forcing to read between the lines, to dive into this situation with our interpretation, our own emotions in the mirror of the painting.


Interview with Painter, Jarek Puczel

KC Webb March 11, 2016

How did you get started doing what you do?

For many years, I revolved around painting, but also was involved in different art disciplines. I played in a band of electronic music and made movies at the Creative Film Workshops. I think this broad background is constantly vivid and helpful for me. As a painter, I started to engage in several online portals of art. For people like me, living far from big art centers, it is a good way of showing the work to a wider public. Of course, in this “art ocean” you can drown and completely disappear. That’s why I was taking part in competitions and gradually began to succeed. In the juried showcase contest organized in 2010 by ArtSlant.com, I got into the group of 10 international finalists from different disciplines of the visual arts. It was my “turning point.” I decided to dedicate myself entirely to painting; and soon, as a result of the “law of attraction,” I received proposals of collaboration from Polish, Austrian and US galleries.

How would you describe your creative style?

It’s hard to escape from the influence of the place where you live. In the East-Central part of Europe, where I live, we have a deeply encoded tradition of the essential representation of the figure in the painting: I mean the icons. The human figure is reduced there to his/her main psychological features. I think that such an old-time “iconic heritage” can be paradoxically regarded… as a good conceptual basis. I like this approach because representing a soul has a little to do with the topical and ordinary representation. So I avoid sketching every detail, also avoid redundant colors, minimizing and intensifying my creation as much as I can.

What’s your inspiration?

My artistic research began with the idea of life conceived as an illusion, and the world as a kind of movie, in which different realities are mixed together. You can see through my paintings that the most important for me are the feelings, all these subtle connections between people. Of course, I am referring to my current emotions and thoughts, but also experiencing these captured in the works of art and pop culture – movies, books, music… So I play between realities.

What is art to you?

Art is a cutting edge activity, an important area of knowing myself. And probably the best part of me I can give to the others.

What does your typical day look like?

Usually wake up about 7-8 am, then do some basic physical exercises. After breakfast, I drive or, in warmer weather, cycle to my studio. First checking emails, reading news I’m interested in. Next comes undefined 6-8 hours time, during which I make researching work: composing and recomposing ideas and finally painting. Because I spend so much time alone in the studio, I like to go out for meals and coffees. Sometimes I have evening meetings with my friends… and this is always uplifting and inspiring.

How long does it typically take for you to finish a piece?

Since my first step in painting is always conceptual work, it’s really hard to measure this in terms of time. But the very process of painting, for example, a medium sized canvas, takes for me usually two working days.

How do you keep motivated?

I try to work regularly, even ignoring lack of “inspiration” or states of emotional hesitation to some degree. Coffee and music help me. And silent belief that it all matters.

How would you say your surroundings have influenced your work?

The social reality provides me with rich material. Especially deeply hidden emotions focusing my attention, all these intense stories regarding close related people. I think there are secret paths between artists of any kind. I like to attend concerts and visit exhibitions because it gives me a proper environment to develop my own creativity. But of course, not only the new phenomena in art could be inspiring. For instance, recently I listened to the Schubert’s piano sonatas and found in them fragments that touched me with its freshness.

How have others reacted to your work?

People usually find in my work their own emotions and thoughts. These are very uplifting reactions for me because I much care about “openness” of the structure in my paintings. Usually, I get emails with quite enthusiastic words. From the other hand, when sometimes someone is expressing a critical comment, I try to understand what he/she is really referring to.

What’s your process like?

I’m an intuitive painter and instinctively use this sense at the initial stage of work. If some topic moves me I try to collect the stuff related, browsing my photo archives and also the internet resources. Then combine certain elements and reduce others – to highlight the main idea important for me. As a former graphic designer, I often use Photoshop for making “sketches,” and also a multimedia projector, which facilitates the transfer of the drawing to the canvas. Next comes the action of painting – the main battlefield. During this process happens that I go far away from the original concept.

via: https://jungkatz.com/2016/03/11/interview-with-painter-jarek-puczel/

Meet Jarek Puczel, the minimalist romantic that spills entire narratives with a few brushstrokes and layers of paint. His use of negative space leaves you with the room for imagining, connecting and placing yourself into these paintings, simultaneously disclosing and hiding the tension and emotion depicted in each scene. He reduces these moments to details, painting characters with empty faces or simple silhouettes painted in a soothing washed out colour palette. Lovers gained him worldwide recognition a few years ago and today he is being represented by galleries such as the Robert Fontaine Gallery and Galerie Sandhofer.

Tell us a little about how you started your career in the creative fields.

At the beginning it wasn’t obvious for me at all that I wanted to become just a painter. It seemed like a limitation for me, so I have been looking to express myself somehow as a creative person. I played in a band of electronic music in my birth town, Ketrzyn (Poland), then started to make movies and write screenplays at the Creative Film Workshops in Warsaw. For many years I was also a computer graphic designer at Publishing House. Looking from today’s point of view, I think that this broad background, plus humanistic education (Art Pedagogy at the University of Warsaw), has been helpful for me as a painter.
In 2011 I was able to gain interest of a well-established gallery in Warsaw, called Milano, and it was the beginning of our long-term, warm cooperation until today. However, I was still looking for places to present my work to a wider audience, engaging in activities of a few online art portals, and taking part in competitions. My real turning point came in 2012 along with the online popularity of one painting: Lovers. Since then, I started getting proposals for collaboration – for instance from Robert Fontaine Gallery in Miami and Galerie Sandhofer in Innsbruck.

In your own words, how would you describe your style?

Emotional, but calming and reduced in shape and colour. Building stories, but pointing at illusion and unveiling the materiality of paints. Showing the individuals, but talking about common human experiences.
There is probably something deeply ‘Eastern European’ in my style. You can even feel the heritage of painting icons: human figures are reduced in details to their main psychological features, and depicted mainly on flat backgrounds – it sounds like an echo of the notion, that outside world doesn’t matter. Paradoxically, such an old-time iconic heritage can be regarded as a progressive conceptual basis. By the way, the outside world really doesn’t exist, as quantum physics teaches us.

When I look at your painting, especially your Lovers series, I feel like I’m looking at a private moment frozen in time, censored and protected by your layers of pink paint. What did you want to portray through these works?

As you have sensed, I focus my attention on deeply hidden, intimate connections between couples. These two people create the deepest field of emotional experiences, the strongest tensions, and fields of learning through love and pain. But of course, you can’t see anything unless you’re inside as an intimate participant. The outside viewer sees nothing, so we are ‘censored or protected’, as you have noticed. The paint shows and covers at the same time. The surface gets wavy and subjected to an alternating rhythm of disturbances, between tension and calm. And we are forced to read between the lines, to dive into this situation with our interpretation, with our own emotions in the mirror of the painting.

I see some resemblance between your work and that of Rene Magrite; your Lovers series seeming an ode to his painting, The Lovers. Does Magrite have a big influence on your work?
I haven’t thought about it in that way, but I can see that we both pay attention to similar things: like playing with presented characters, interpenetrating realities, or unveiling the illusions. The use of the negative space as a carrier of meanings is also crucial. This surrealistic approach is, without a doubt, important and vivid for me.

Your paintings are usually very minimal yet full of narrative. How do you go about choosing which elements to include in each composition?

I try to use ‘the law of attraction’ as a method of work. First, I have to encounter something that moves me and resonates with my current thoughts and feelings. It could be a social situation, my individual experience, something I noticed in cinema, etc. Then that emerging idea attracts related images. Well, usually you need to help it a little, browsing the Internet or private resources to collect material to be used and transformed. Then combine certain elements and reduce others to highlight the main idea. As you noticed, I avoid sketching every detail, minimizing and intensifying my creation as much as I can.

Are the characters in your paintings works of your own imagination or do you base them on real people?

The starting point is always a specific individual, usually captured in the photo. While working on a computer project, and especially during the painting process, the personal features become blurred. That is my aim; I care about ‘intimate anonymity’. People usually find their own emotions and thoughts in my work. This is very elevating for me, because I care about psychological openness in my paintings.

Where do you look for inspiration?

The social reality provides me with rich material – especially deeply hidden emotions focus my attention, like all these intense stories regarding closely related people. Apart from that, I have some thoughts and ideas simply floating in the air, and there are secret paths between creators of various kinds. I like to attend concerts and visit exhibitions because it gives me the proper environment to develop my own creativity.

Are you currently working on anything new?

I’m continuously working on the idea of the connections and the common fields between the people. In my newest canvas two girls are leaning against the wall, gazing at each other, and their skirts are melted into one black object. I try to express something about sensing not only through the conscious or rational part of us, seen as individuals, but also through the collective body.

An exhibition of your work is opening in your hometown in October. What is your favourite thing about Warsaw and about Poland?

I must correct this, because I currently live in another Polish city, Olsztyn. However, I have strong links with our capital. I think that the biggest value of Warsaw is its revolutionary and romantic spirit, that gives the energy to be reborn in tough situations, like wars or uprisings. The most subtle and uplifting expression of this is Chopin’s music. It seems to me that this spirit is present now, and I can see it on the dynamics and creativity of the people. Of course Poles have their drawbacks and fears, but I prefer to focus on the advantages, so that we can give to ourselves and to other nations the love of freedom and independence.

via: https://metalmagazine.eu/en/post/interview/jarek-puczel-covered-lovers

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS, PRESENTATIONS AND FAIRS

2019
Jarek Puczel, solo exhibition, Maybaum Gallery, San Francisco, CA (scheduled for December)
Seattle Art Fair, Maybaum Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Delusions, collective show, Old town hall Gallery, Olsztyn, Poland
Collective show, Maybaum Gallery, San Francisco, CA
30th anniversary of the gallery, Galeria Milano, Warsaw, Poland
Art Market San Francisco, Maybaum Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2018
Art Miami, Maybaum Gallery, Miami, USA
Recent Paintings, solo exhibition, Maybaum Gallery, San Francisco, CA
FRESH! Order and Chaos: the World of the Enlightened?, JanKossen Contemporary, New York, NY
Collective show, Maybaum Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Winter Exhibition: Post-War Meets Today, Robert Fontaine Gallery, Miami, FL
Collective show, Galeria Milano, Warsaw, Poland
2017
Art Miami, Robert Fontaine Gallery, Miami, FL
Unnamed relationships, solo exhibition, Galeria Milano, Warsaw, Poland
Rarity Summer Contemporary, Rarity Gallery, Mykonos, Greece
This is not my image, Galeria Milano, Warsaw, Poland
Art Wynwood, Robert Fontaine Gallery, Miami, FL
2016
Collective show, Galeria de Arte AFK, Lisbon, Portugal
CONTEXT, Robert Fontaine Gallery, Miami, FL
Trzechswiat, Galeria Scena X, Olsztyn, Poland
SCOPE Basel, Robert Fontaine Gallery, Basel, Switzerland
Art Wynwood, Miami, FL
2015
Galeria Scena X, Olsztyn, Poland
Balance, solo exhibition, Galeria Milano, Warsaw, Poland
Art Wynwood, Robert Fontaine Gallery, Miami, FL
Warsaw Art Fair, Galeria Milano, Warsaw, Poland
2014
Lovers, solo exhibition, Galerie Sandhofer, Salzburg, Austria
Collective show, Galerie Mark Hachem, Paris, France
CONTEXT, Robert Fontaine Gallery, Miami, FL
Warsaw Art Fair, Galeria Milano, Warsaw, Poland
Devenir gris, Galerie 22RUEMULLER, Paris Montmartre, France
The Art Hunter, Sydney, Australia
2013
AQUA – Basel Miami, Robert Fontaine Gallery, Miami, FL
SCOPE Miami Beach, Robert Fontaine Gallery, Miami, FL
Warsaw Art Fair, Galeria Milano, Warsaw, Poland
SCOPE Basel, Robert Fontaine Gallery, Basel, Switzerland
Artists of the gallery, Galeria Milano, Warsaw, Poland
SCOPE NYC, Robert Fontaine Gallery, New York, FL
Art Wynwood, Miami, FL
2012
Warsaw Art Fair, Galeria Milano, Warsaw, Poland
SCOPE Miami Beach, Robert Fontaine Gallery, Miami, FL
Painting circumstances, solo exhibition, Galeria Milano, Warsaw, Poland
Collective show, Robert Fontaine Gallery, Miami, FL
Sport artbox, Milano Gallery, Warsaw, Poland
2011
Nowy Dom Jablkowskich, Galeria Milano, Warsaw, Poland
Jarek Puczel, solo exhibition, Galeria Rynek, Olsztyn, Poland
Collective show, Galeria Milano, Warsaw, Poland
2010
SCOPE Miami, Myartspace – digital presentation, Miami, FL
Wpolczesna weduta, Galeria Rynek, Olsztyn, Poland
2009
Art Innsbruck, Galerie Sandhofer, Innsbruck, Austria
Lubelska Noc Kultury, Galeria ATU, Lublin, Poland
2006
3 Seiten der Leinwand, solo exhibition, Galerie Sandhofer, Innsbruck, Austria
2003
Galeria Wozownia, V Biennale of the Small Painting Forms, Torun, Poland
ProGram 2003, Galeria Sienna 57, Warsaw, Poland
2002
Puczel & Cieslak, solo exhibition, Gallery Twenty-Four, Berlin, Germany
2000 / 2001
Et voila la Pologne – Presentation of Polish art, Bruxelles, Liege (Belgium), Luxembourg

PROJECTS AND COMMISSIONS

2019
“Ray Donovan” television series (season 7, ep. 1-2), work The lost way in the movie set, Showtime Network, NYC
Angelo Ferracuti “La metà del cielo”, work Untitled on the book cover, Mondadori Libri , Milan, Italy
“MADAME”magazine (July 2019) , work Girl on a swing in the article, Bauer Style & Luxury KG, Munich, Germany
Lena Andersson “Hechos poco fieles”, work Lovers 3 on the book cover, Alfaguara (Penguin Random House), Barcelona, Spain
“Little Fish” (working title) movie, work Para (2) in the movie set, Little Fish Pictures Inc., Canada/USA
Ian McEwan “Maschinen wie ich”, work “Meeting” on the book cover, Diogenes Verlag, Zurich, Switzerland
Organizm “Czy ty tez tak masz”, work Unnamed Woman on the CD album cover, Thin man records, Poland
prof. Alejandro Juárez Pineda “Cómo Combinar el amor pareja y familiar con tu empresa?”, works: Invisible Man,
Exit 2, Uncertainty, Romantic, Romantic (3), On the shore, “Capitel” magazine, Humanitas University in Mexico
2018
Apple Music project “Latin: Enfermo De Amor” – Lovers (7), commissioned painting
Bernard MacLaverty “Midwinter Break”, work Couple on the book cover, W. W. Norton & Company, New York, NY
Zeruya Shalev “Douleur”, work “Lovers (3)” on the book cover, Editions Gallimard, Paris, France
Jennifer Kitses “Ein tag, eine nacht”, work “Invisible man” on the book cover, dtv Verlagsgesellschaft, Munich, Germany
Carlo Cassola “L’uomo e il cane”, “Un cuore arido”, works “Cruise” and “The dog” on the book covers, Mondadori Libri Spa, Milan, Italy
Rachel Cusk “Resoconto”, “Passaggio”, “Omaggio”, works Beloved, Melancholia, Redhead on the book covers,
Giulio Einaudi Editore, Torino, Italy
Geir Gulliksen “The Story of a Marriage”, work Beloved on the book cover, Penguin Random House, New York, NY
Julia Jessen “Architektur des Knotens”, work Para (2) on the book cover, Verlag Antje Kunstmann, München, Germany
2017
Jens Jessen “Wir haben uns verwählt”, work Couple in the article, Die Zeit, Germany
Chiara Gamberale “La zona cieca”, work Dream on the book cover, G. Feltrinelli Editore, Milan, Italy
Nina Raine “Consent”, work Lovers 6 as a campaign artwork for a play, National Theatre London, UK
Carlo Cassola “Il taglio del bosco”, work On an alien planet on the book cover, Mondadori, Milan, Itlay
Carlo Cassola “Fausto e Anna”, work Girl on a seesaw on the book cover, Mondadori, Milan, Italy
Michel Faber “Undying – a love story”, work In the sunlight on the book cover, La nave di Teseo, Milan, Italy
Rosi Golan “OMG”, work Lovers 3 on the cover of the music record single, NY
Jenny Diski “The Vanishing Princess”, work Lovers 2 on the book cover, Ecco Books (HarperCollins), New York, NY
Cezary Żechowski “War with the Cuckoo”, Illustrations for the book, Convivo, Warsaw, Poland
Antonio J. Rodriguez “Vidas perfectas”, work Couple 2 on the book cover, Penguin Random House, Barcelona, Spain
Katarzyna Mol “Now”, work Girl on a seesaw on the book cover, Tadeusz Serocki, Pelplin, Poland
Franz Werfel “Little Loves”, work Couple on the book cover, Ugo Guanda Editore, Milan, Italy
Carlo Cassola “A relationship”, work Couple 2 on the book cover, Mondadori, Milan, Italy
Carlo Cassola “Fear and Sadness”, work Mother on the book cover, Mondadori, Milan, Italy
2016
“Slice” magazine, work Beloved in the issue Fall/Winter’16, New York, USA-NY
“Dolce vita” television theatre TVP, work Projection 1 on the stage design, Warsaw, Poland
Zoey Leigh Peterson “Next year, for sure”, work Unnamed affection on the book cover, Scribner, USA
Zoey Leigh Peterson “Next year, for sure”, work Unnamed affection on the book cover, Doubleday, Canada
Naiara Magalhaes “Mais tesão, por favor”, works Lovers 3 and Lovers 1 in the article, Claudia, Brazil
2015
Arjun Basu “Attends-Moi”, work Lovers 1 on the book cover, Marchand de feuilles Montréal, Canada
Anna Matysiak “Czułość liter”, work – 20 C on the cover and endpaper of the book, Miniatura, Krakow
2014
The Jezabels “Brink”, 8 works on the CD album cover / vinyl album, Australia
43 Festival du Nouveau Cinema, work Lovers 1 – main image promoting Festival, Montréal, Canada
2013
Iris Leu “Soft Focus”, work Lovers 1 on the CD album cover, USA-TX
2012
Arezu Weitholz “Wenn die Nacht am stillsten ist”, work Lovers 2 on the book cover, Verlag Antje Kunstmann, Munich, Germany
Ilaria Bernardini “Domenica”, work Lovers 2 on the book cover, Narratori Feltrinelli, Milan, Italy

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS AND INTERVIEWS

2019
Μαρία Πανούτσου, Ο Αγιότατος Έρως «Η Οφηλία δεν μένει πια εδώ» (visual part of the article), ologramma.art
Monika Szczygło “The creative world of Jarek Puczel” (interview with J.P.), Radio Olsztyn, Poland
2018
Marek Baranski “Full-time painter” (interview), Gazeta Olsztynska, Poland
2017
Andrea Toro “Jarek Puczel. Covered Lovers” (interview), METAL Magazine, Barcelona, Spain
Dariusz Szulc “Relationships – delicate connections in Jarek Puczel’s painting”, article and interview, Artventure.pl
Eglė Petreikienė “Jarek Puczel”, NEMUNAS magazine, Kaunas, Lithuania
2016
Casey Webb “Interview with painter, Jarek Puczel”, jungkatz.com
Ewelina Zdancewicz “Jaroslaw Puczel. Conversation”, Gazeta Olsztynska, Poland
2015
Siegrid Leitner “Jarek Puczel. Die Magie eines einzigen Augenblicks”, Palette & Zeichenstift, Koblenz, Germany
Anna Matysiak “Jarek Puczel” (booklet), Convivo Publishing House, Warsaw, Poland
Curate Magazine “The portrait issue”, curatemagazine.com
2014
“Devenir Gris” – numéro 3, Les éditions de L’Incident, Paris, France
“Giovani Garofalo “Materia e Spirito – gli amanti di Jarek Puczel”, artwort.com
Josune Imizcoz “La nación de los amantes sin rostro”, playgroundmag.net
2013
Dontpostme, winter issue “Interview with Jarek Puczel”, issuu publishing house, Saint-Petersbourg, Russia
Hannah Edwards “Jarek Puczel”, ignant.de
Beata Szymanska “Jaroslaw Puczel – painter” (video), GO TV, Poland
Ewa Mazgal “Jaroslaw Puczel”, Gazeta Olsztynska, Poland
Larissa Erin Greer “Jarek Puczel Qutlines The Everyday”, beautifuldecay.com
Monika Szczyglo “Interview with Jaroslaw Puczel. Odbiorca sztuki jest jej tworca”, Radio Olsztyn, Poland
2012
Patrycja Jastrzebska “Jaroslaw Puczel”, VariArt, WBP Olsztyn, Poland
Patrycja Jastrzebska “Jaroslaw Puczel. Painting circumstances” Galeria Milano, Warsaw, Poland
Interview with E. Kochanek-Van Dijk about Jarek Puczel exhibition in Milano Gallery, Qadrans Qltury, TVP Warsaw, Poland

Artist Jarek Puczel’s Website