Illustrator and cartoonist. Ranks no. 1 among Polands best young illustrators by Press magazine in 2011. Born in Gdańsk in 1976.
In 2011 she founded the Illo agency with her friend Maria Zaleska, providing young artists with representation on the Polish market. Currently the agency's roster includes the biggest names in Polish illustration, such as Arobal, Tymek Jezierski, Ada Buchholc and, of course, Endo herself. The agency aims to not only represent a select group of artists, but also to promote Polish illustration in general - hence the projects of exhibitions coproduced with insitutions and festivals. When asked where Polish illustration is headed next, Endo promises "New York, Berlin, Stockholm". In the summer of 2012 she is leading a select group of artists to New York for an exhibition focused on young Polish illustration and graphic design. The works of Agata "Endo" Nowicka are very personal, often giving the public a glimpse into the life and home of the artist and of those closest to her. Her style is colourful and whimsical, yet she manages to blend a feminine aesthetic with a strong voice that is a contemporary commentary on the state of the world around her. Her subjects include sexuality, feminism, vanity, social relations, music and everyday life - presented in a way that references a strong illustration tradition with a smart and very contemporary approach.
Her illustrations have been recognised by Poland's top tier of magazine publishers and she regularly contributes her work to the pages of alternative art publications like Lampa, as well as mainstream fashion and lifestyle magazines Wysokie Obcasy, Gala, Viva and Elle. She's managed to break through to the tough illustration market abroad and has been published in such prestigious titles as the New York Times and The New Yorker. In the US she is represented by the Marlena Agency (www.marlenaagency.com).
She graduated from a Secondary School specialising in the arts and then went on to study Psychology at the Higher School of Social Psychology in Warsaw. She returned to art after a seven-year hiatus. Her interest in illustration developed intensively during her time as Editor-in-Chief of the alternative monthly Exklusiv. There she had the opportunity to interview some of the most famous illustrators of the world, such as Yuko Shimizu, James Jean, Autumn Whitehurst and Fernanda Cohen. In 2001 she began publishing her comic book illustrations in blog format. Nowicka herself, known by her creative alter ego Endo, appears as the protagonist of these comics, which transfer the very intimate aspects of her private life into witty and well-executed drawings. Soon enough she had to quit her day job in order to give full flight to fancy, developing her hobby into a career.
In 2006 she published her first comic album entitled Project: Human, published by Kultura Gniewu, a well-known comic book publisher in Poland. Her short comic were also featured in a comic book about the war published by the Warsaw Rising Museum under the title 44(2007). She also began exhibiting her works around Poland and Europe at various illustration showcases and in 2010 she co-curated Poland's first illustration biennale - Ilustracja PL 2010 - which opened in April that year as a part of the KTR Advertising Festival organised by Stowarzyszenie Komunikacji Marketingowej SAR.
After the success of the first edition of Ilustracja PL, SAR together with AdArtis Foundation repeated the format in 2012, inviting a larger number of artists to participate (more than 100) and presenting an broader range of styles, forms and media from Polands youngest talents. The exhibition, co-curated by Anna Zimecka, Przemek "Trust" Truściński and the Illo agency was titled "O-kupować" / "Occuby", meant to represent the "occupation" of the viewer's imagination by the artist by way of contemporary themes, social media and new technologies.
She is involved in a number of commercial projects as well, such as her design project for Empik cafes interiors and merchandising, which today grace the walls and cups of each Empik location across the country. In an interview with Dazed Digital she said her work is about " contradictions: loneliness and other people, motherhood and non-conformism, modern and the old school".
Złote Pszczoły, Gmina Wyznaniowa Żydowska, 2011
The Great Big Book of Fashion Illustration, Batsford, 2011
Seks na wysokich obcasach, Agora, 2011
Warszawa Kobiet, Biblioteka Polityki, 2011
Chopin New Romantic, MSZ, 2010
American Illustration, vol 29, 2010
44, Muzeum Powstania Warszawskiego, 2007
Projekt Czlowiek, Kultura Gniewu, 2006
Selected Group Exhibitions:
Design for Freedom - Freedom in Design, Claska Gallery, Tokyo
Nowy Chaos, Centrum Kultury Katowice
Design for Freedom - Freedom in Design, MadeMyDay, Berlin
All Play No Work, group, Pigasus Gallery, Berlin
Ilustracja PL 2010, Sinfonia Varsowia, Warszawa
8th Start Contemporary Art Fair/group II 2004 Expo-Congres, Place de la Foire Exposition, Strasbourg
Natarcie netartu, Zachęta, Warszawa
Author: Agnieszka Le Nart, May 2012