Piotr Łakomy is a visual artist and curator, born in 1983 in Gorzów Wielkopolski.
Visual arts creator, curator. Born in 1983 in Gorzów Wielkopolski.
From 2003 to 2008, he studied at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Zielona Góra. In 2009 he obtained his diploma in painting from the workshop of Professor Leszek Knaflewski. Łakomy has received numerous scholarships - twice from the city of Gorzów Wielkopolski, and from the the Minister of Culture and National Heritage in 2011. He also received the residency scholarship of the DIVA programme in Copenhagen in 2010. He presently lives and works in Poznań. He has collaborated with the Stereo Gallery and with the Bunk Edition and Morava Books publishing houses.
Piotr Łakomy realizes works using the medium of painting, understood in a wide sense. He creates installations and objects and deals with artistic challenges in public space. He is also an independent curator and an author of publications linked to art: T-HOOD (Temporary Hood; 2011), DUST SHOW (action in public space; Copenhagen; Denmark; 2011), and DUST SNOW (the Winter Sculpture Park; Poznań; 2010).
His interest in painting originates from street-art activities and early graffiti work. It is worth noticing that Łakomy used the aesthetic of works created directly in urban space also in his later projects meant for gallery interiors. In 2008 he participated in the exhibition Murals – Painting / Murale – Malarstwo held at the Azyl Art GDK Gallery in Gorzów. At this exhibition he presented paintings with subject matter characteristic of contemporary urban communities. His artistic evolution and also a continuation of his dialogue with urban space, was presented a year later at the individual exposition Shapes (2009) held at the Zielona Góra BWA gallery.
The seductive, colouristic works by Łakomy, which seem abstract at first, referred to elements of urban landscapes, creating kaleidoscopic compositions open to new combinations. In these works, the artist emphasized strictly painterly means of expression such as the matter of the paints, the base and texture. At the same time, he was getting closer to thinking about paintings as of spatial objects. The multi-sided form of one of the works casually set by the wall resembled an abstract sculpture more than a painting, and its assembly from many fragments enabled the creation of numerous configurations. The openness of the described formula was juxtaposed with another painting work, the edges of which were marked out by the sides of a display chest bringing to mind a museum display case.
Łakomy continued the dialogue with traditionally understood painting at a joint exhibition with Jakub Czyszczoń, which was titled Polish Painters – Polish Paintings / Polscy malarze – Polskie obrazy (2009) and held at the Starter gallery in Poznań. At this exhibition the artists showed mainly painting works enriched with collages, Łakomy and Czyszczoń made use of typically museum exhibition elements: display cases, platforms, tables and also wooden frames. They drew inspiration from books on art illustrated with black and white reproductions of paintings.
In the framework of the 10th Geppert Competition, Łakomy presented the artistic action One-Person Group Therapy / Jednoosobowa Terapia Grupowa which featured the participation of Nicolas Pillot, Alex Vivian and Aaron Graham – creators who weren’t nominated for the competition.
At that time the artist’s creations took on a definitely minimalistic style. Łakomy began to experiment with simple, shabby materials such as concrete, Styrofoam blocks, slabs, tin, plastic, objects of everyday use, and fabrics. From these materials he constructed monochromatic objects and spatial installations, making use of a cold, crude aesthetic. High-power light bulbs also began to play an important role in his works. By emitting heat these light bulbs revealed a new dimension of artistic expression. In 2012 at the individual exhibition I Don’t Ask, It Doesn’t Answer. I Ask, It Glows / Nie pytam, nie odpowiada. Pytam, świeci held at the Poznań gallery MAK the creator presented works described by the critics as “dispassionate minimalism”. The grey Styrofoam blocks, which were being exposed to high temperature coming from the lamps attached to these blocks, seemed to be unfinished objects that were abandoned before work on them was completed. Additionally at the exhibition four paintings from the series I Play Mono, They Want Stereo and More were put on display. Kamil Kuskowski wrote that: Piotr Łakomy’s works address the subject of images and objects in the context of self-destruction. Formal minimalism, by means of which the artist builds the disturbing atmosphere of his realizations, becomes an important element here”.
The silver-grey Styrofoam blocks cut into simple geometric forms became the basic building components of Łakomy’s works. These blocks provoke deep thoughts about the depleted, until recently popular clichés showing the world of wealth, visual uneasiness and the multitude of experiences. They make viewers think in the categories of the aesthetic of saturation and dehumanized reality. At the group exhibition Makeshift / Prowizorka (2012) shown in Poznań and Katowice, Łakomy presented a spatial installation consisting of two Styrofoam forms having the shape and size of a refrigerator, which was placed, as the third element of a work, near one of the walls of the gallery. One of the Styrofoam monoliths was partially burnt at the height of a man’s face. Łakomy sometimes cuts the Styrofoam blocks so that they match the height of a man, he did so, for instance, when he was preparing the sculpture/performance Blind Meeting (2012). In this work the artist placed two lamps on stands on either side of a Styrofoam module, thanks to which he gave the structure a form resembling a human head in headphones.
The work title-less (Observing) / bez tytułu (Obserwowanie się) from 2013, which has a shape similar to that of a seat, was also made from blocks of silver-grey Styrofoam and from two light bulbs. The two light bulbs attached to this piece go on and off in turn, which brings to mind associations with an intimate dialogue and evokes the topic of communication, meetings, information flow and energy.
Łakomy also creates works directly referring to the characteristic elements of existing architectural spaces. He builds open constructions from thin aluminium rods with which he delineates separated places in selected areas of buildings or which he places in gallery interiors. By inviting the viewers to a spatial situation created in this way the artist offers the viewers a suggestion of privacy and seclusion. To the structure of the work A Room with a View / Pokój z widokiem (2013) he attached a LED lamp, and in the corner of the object title-less (xyz) / bez tytułu (xyz) (2013) he placed a burning candle.
Piotr Łakomy’s works captivate with their simplicity – their reduced forms and limited monochromatic colour scheme. These works constitute autonomous statements based on a direct experience of presence in space. In order to interact with these works the viewer has to clear his field of perception from stimuli and narrations constantly coming from the visual universe of today’s culture.
The artist’s website: http://www.piotrlakomy.com/
Author: Ewa Gorządek, July 2014
Translated by: Marek Kępa
Selected individual exhibitions:
- 2013 – “Life Size Shadow”, The Sunday Painter, London
- 2012 – “I Don’t See Anything, I Don’t Feel Anything, I Don’t Hear Anything“ / “Nic nie widzę, nic nie czuję, nic nie słyszę”, Arsenał Gallery, Białystok
- 2011 – “Temporary Hood, the Last Try-on” / “Temporary Hood, Ostatnia przymiarka”, Stereo Gallery, Poznań
- 2010 – “T – HOOD”, TTC Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark
- 2009 – “Shapes”, BWA Zielona Góra
Selected group exhibitions:
- 2014 – “YEAH AND LOOK WHERE IT GOT US”, Mon Chéri, Brussels
- 2013 – “The New Morals”, Stereo Gallery, Warsaw
- “Bold Tendencies”, Multi Storey Car Park, Peckham, London
- 2012 – “Cosmo’s Levels”, The Sunday Painter, London
- “My safe reduction to for”, Exile Gallery, Berlin
- “Makeshift” / “Prowizorka”, Municipal Gallery Arsenal, Poznań
- 2011 – “What Does a Painter Do? “ / “Co robi malarz?”, 10th Geppert Competition, BWA Awangarda, Wrocław
- “6TM”, 6th Young Ones Biennale, Centre of Polish Sculpture, Orońsko
- “3 in the Morning“ / “3 nad ranem” (with J.Czyszczoniem), Starter Gallery, Warsaw