Jakub Julian Ziolkowski
b. 1980 Zamosc, Poland
Jakub Julian Ziolkowski's phantasmagorical paintings pulse and roil with mutant life: plants sprout giant eyeballs, patchwork bodies threaten slough off their skins or tumble into a piles of dismembered parts, internal organs make their way outside, objects grow hair, faces distort as if infected with some unspeakable Picasso-inspired virus. Ziolkowski's paintings absorb the darkest contours of their art historical precedents, Phillip Guston's existentially charged cartoons, the death-haunted carnival masks of James Ensor, the horror movie personages of Francis Bacon, the effulgent fantasies of Arcimboldo's heads constructed of flora and fauna, Hieronymus Bosch's nightmare menageries" and blend them into new, wildly surreal configurations. Grouped together, his works give the impression of disjointed sections of the same fevered brain: Lilliputian armies war on a studio floor, a young girl's torso appears to be sucking itself inside out, the skeletal remains of a Nazi U-boat watchman are swallowed by plant life" disparate scenes, but, if subjected to the right logic, perhaps all part of the same hallucenogenic nightmare.