‘I am an automated equipment technician’ – says Jacek Poremba (b. 1966) and explains that at the time when he thought about art education, ‘there were not as many schools of photography as there are now’.
Photographer, fashion photographer, portraitist.
He made his first fashion photographs in 1991 when most editorials were taking the first step in the new capitalist realities. Since the nineties he has gradually expanded the range of magazines he works with (Zwierciadło, Uroda, Pani, Elle, Twój Styl, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire). Jacek Poremba is the photograph of Joanna Klimas’ clothing collections, and he was one of the first to create ambitious catalogues and unusual artistic fashion presentations. ‘My goal in fashion was that pictures represented 'something', that they showed more than just a nice smiling lady on a nice background’ – explains Poremba. At the same time, he is active on the artistic stage; he cooperates with the Leeeżeć Community in Łódź, among others.
Poremba has strengthened his position since the mid-nineties with the dynamic development of the media, advertising and fashion world. His presence in it has turned him into a kind of a celebrity photographer. Photo shoots for Machina, Max and Playboy, as well as the album covers of Kayah, Katarzyna Nosowska or Małgorzata Niemen have a cult status today. After the year 2000, Poremba started working with mainstream magazines (Viva!, Pani, Gala) and niche lifestyle publications (Fluid, Exklusiv).
Poremba’s trip to Sudan in 2001 brought about a fundamental change in his photography.
After ten years of intensive work on commercial, magazine and advertising projects, when I was afraid to take a week of leave, I felt that I was lost and that if I didn’t find a new source of energy, my head would explode’ – confessed Poremba in an interview with Krystian Bielatowicz .
The expedition with Polish archaeologists turned out to be the first in a number of trips. It was from Africa that the photographer brought the series of greyish, delicately shaded landscapes and portraits. The travel and ‘existential’ Polaroid series on Tuscany and Poland which followed shared a similar aesthetic. In 2004 Poremba created a cycle of colourful, but also subtle photographs of Africa.
In recent years, the artist has been increasingly involved in portrait photography. His most famous photos include those of Agata Buzek, Kuba Wojewódzki, Kora Jackowska, Artur Rojek and Marek Edelman.
Most important individual exhibitions:
- 1990 – Pstrąg Theatre, Łódź
- 1990 – Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw
- 1991 – C.I.K., Łódź
- 1996 – Zapiecek Gallery, Warsaw
- 1996 – Photokina, Cologne, Germany
- 2000 – Between Us, Warsaw
- 2002 – Festival of Black and White Photography, Zakopane
- 2003 – Pauza Gallery, Kraków
Most important awards:
- 1993 – Honourable mention in the Nikon competition, Japan
- 1998 – Second prize in the Polaroid competition, USA
- 1998 – Gold Eagles for Joanna Klimas’ catalogues (advertising competition)
Official website of the artist: jacekporemba.com
Author: Adam Mazur, transl. Bozhana Nikolova, March 2015
The text is taken from the book The Decisive Moment. New Phenomena in Polish Photography Since 2000 (Karakter, 2012)