My first experience with horror was reading the Goosebumps books, I got into horror at an early age, before I picked up photography I was obsessed with art and design and various storytelling styles. I explored sewing, drawing, painting, writing, I had more books than a library. My last artistic practice was photography, and that and writing have stuck with me since I was six years old.
Zdzisław Beksiński's ability to tell shocking stories in just one image encouraged me to study photojournalism at university. Photojournalism tells soft truths but also hard truths and within Zdzisław Beksiński's paintings, he explores truths and abstracts them in a religious and powerful tone.
Dystopian surrealism is defined as the portrayal of a fictional, nasty, and terrifying setting. It's the polar opposite of utopia, which is a perfected place or society free of poverty and crime. Several Surrealists used automatism, or automatic writing, as a method of accessing the unconscious mind. Collage, doodling, frottage, decalcomania, and grattage were among the techniques utilised by artists like Joan Miró and Max Ernst to produce unexpected and often absurd artwork.
Surrealist artists used fantasy and dream imagery to create works in a range of mediums that exposed their inner minds in unusual ways, including paintings, objects and sculptures, photography, and films.
The Polish artist Zdzisaw Beksiski was known for his paintings, photos, and sculptures that focused on dystopian surrealism. His surreal horror art paintings and scary drawings, for example, were done in Gothic or Baroque styles. Beksiski's work may be separated into two phases: the early period's paintings are described as expressionistic dystopian surrealism, and the later period's paintings are more abstract in character.
In 1955, he returned to his hometown of Sanok in southern Poland to work as a construction site supervisor after studying architecture in Krakow. At the same time as he was frustrated with his job, he developed a passion for sculpture, painting, and photography. The success came quickly after an exhibition in Warsaw in 1964.
He painted a lot of his work in the 1970s and 1990s, when he was into fantasy, and he depicted settings with dark, desolate atmospheres. He stated, "I want to paint as though I'm documenting dreams." In the 1990s, he reverted to a more abstract type of work, beginning to produce photomontages using new computer technologies.
While all of his work was dark, his early work focused on dystopian catastrophic landscapes with evocative colour, while his latter work was abstracted with a reduced colour palette. His early images, which both portray fragmented and twisted bodies, certainly impacted his later works. The photographs reveal the scenes that the dystopian artist was drawn to again and time again.
Many art experts and researchers have theorised that the frightening subject matter of his paintings stems from his youth spent in one of humanity's most horrible battles, but the artist never confirmed the allegations, leaving much of his artwork's importance in the air. While his work features obviously frightening imagery, the artist has consistently stated that his work is not inherently bleak, claiming that his paintings have no specific significance and encouraging people to interpret them as they see appropriate.
Beksiski's works are technically accurate and perfect, utilising modern oil painting procedures. His art is even more spectacular from an emotional aspect; simply looking at some of his pieces may be difficult to bear while still being extremely moving. His work is strangely beautiful and, at times, frightening, without ever falling into horror tropes.
Beksiki's art is extraordinarily gloomy, depicting a bizarre, nightmare world in which eyeless figures float through the sky and an overpowering feeling of ruin and turmoil contrasts with the peace within the black, quiet fog. Despite having no professional training as an artist, Zdzislaw spent the most of his creative career painting these highly detailed, stygian pictures, despite having no academic training as an artist.
Perhaps the most fascinating component of his work is his perspective on 'not understanding his work,' which he so strongly sought and warned others about, characterising his work as frequently misinterpreted, with viewers missing the hilarious and good aspects that appear to be concealed amid the murkiness.