My first encounter with art was through Catholic imagery, particularly church art and holy pictures. These types of images instilled a sense of fear, fascination and guilt as they often depicted violent events, such as the Crucifixion, and other forms of martyrdom. Later, I was exposed to dystopian and science fiction imagery through novels and films. These different influences took root in my imagination and began to grow into something new.

Beginning from an early age, I often drew pictures that were dark, disturbing and apocalyptic, which didn’t escape the attention of my teachers. As I grew older, I began to resent the claustrophobic morals of my surrounding, so I set out to find answers to who and what I am through psychology and philosophy.

This restless need to make sense of the world – not just around me but the emotional world that exists within me – continued throughout my formative years and continues today. It’s what drives me as an artist and painter. It’s why I continue to search the folklore and traditions of other peoples for a resolution, and why my art more recently has found its sources in shamanism, African deities, Greek and Native-American mythologies. 

Above and beyond that, I’m trying to strike a balance between my intuitive urges as a painter and my rational need to impose a formal structure on my work.

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© Michal Janowski 2017