Painter, photographer, and video artist. Born on 1, April 1984 in Warsaw.
Painter, photographer, and video artist.
Tymoteusz (Tymek) Borowski is one of the talented, very young artists that are currently the focus of attention of the opinion-making community of art critics, curators, and gallery owners. He studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw in 2005-2009, in the studio of Prof. Leon Tarasewicz (graduating in 2009). While still a student, he presented his work at solo and group exhibitions and began an ongoing collaboration with Paweł Śliwiński, a fellow student from Prof. Tarasewicz's studio.
Borowski's work contains clear references to the surrealist tradition, but the artist is also openly enthusiastic about drawing from other aesthetic traditions of 20th-century art, such as matter painting, tachisme, and abstract art, and likes to experiment with various techniques and unconventional materials. Borowski defies stylistic pigeonholing and his paintings testify to the current crisis of imaging in art. Nevertheless, he admits that he has the greatest affinity for the unbridled freedom of the surrealist imagination.
What they call new surrealism today does not include the things you would expect of contemporary art - these pictures do not refer to any discourse, it is impossible to subject them to the standard art analysis machine. I think that's a good thing because this way, we eliminate any intermediary between the work and the audience, he told Aleksandra Urbańska.
To Borowski, painting means 'creating worlds'. It is a process unfettered by any obligation to formulate a clear message or communication with the audience. 'The point is to paint a picture, but in harmony with one's own desires, whims, and spontaneous artistic activity. For me it's about painting as such. I like painting, I enjoy what happens', he said in the same interview. His autonomous world is born in a discursive process of experimenting with conventions and styles, revealing the young artist's technical proficiency and his enjoyment of the physical gesture of painting.
Tymek Borowski from Culture.pl on Vimeo.
Borowski paints from photos and this is often the starting point for many of his paintings. He often paints surreal portraits of well-known personalities that he places against equally surreal backgrounds. In Portrait of Wilhelm Sasnal, the face is painted entirely white while the subject's eyes look out curiously from above it. The rest of the canvas is filled with shapeless, colourful blobs of freely applied, sometimes dribbling paint. Portrait of Carlos Slim 1 presents a vertical black grating with three horizontal crosspieces on which bloody scraps of various body parts and internal organs are impaled. Portrait of Kazimiera Szczuka 1 is an organic creature with many projections and bulges, crowned with branching feelers. Portrait of Renet Akhmetov presents a torso pressed into a cube shape out of which grows a head that is round like a ball and has no features. His paintings usually have a thick, fleshy texture, and are sometimes simply made out of the texture of paint without any canvas backing.
Tymek Borowski and Paweł Śliwiński's began joint painting when they were students. The artists undertook various projects, initially in the form of spontaneous fun that later led to a planned collective picture painting project. In 2007, they took part in a show prepared for Kraków-based Artpol in which they presented a painting performance involving them playing a game of painted join-the-dots on the gallery walls. At the turn of 2008 and 2009 their exhibition Wspólne obrazy z ukrytym przekazem /Joint pictures with a hidden message was the inaugural event of Warsaw's Galeria A. The artists made a painted cycle together, accompanied by a brief note explaining themselves: 'Tymek and Paweł painted 35 pictures together. First one of them painted, then the other, until they decided they were done'. Their artistic visions are irrational in expression: they resemble phantasmagorical landscapes emerging from the element of painted materials. Dimorphic forms are intertwined with photos and three-dimensional components stuck onto the canvas surface, highlighting the inhomogeneous character of these artistic constructs.
Critics interpreted Borowski's June 2009 exhibition Nowe dobre czasy /The good new days as a statement of the artist's manifesto. It was an extensive and multi-themed show showing different aspects of his oeuvre. It featured a picture 'painted' with a hammer that the artist used to spread his materials, a canvas ripped to shreds (bez tytułu (Poszarpany) untitled (Ripped), 2009), and pictures painted on textured backgrounds: covered in spikes or the rhythmic vertical traces of a roller (bez tytułu (Czarny) untitled (Black), 2009). There were also pictures invoking Mannerism, such as a landscapes inspired by Picasso that were covered with a spider web, or the abstract Triptych establishing a dialogue with Lucas Cranach's Portrait of Three Young Women from 1530. The exhibition also included a computer generated Photoshop painting that was printed on material similar to a painter's canvas (bez tytułu (PSD1) untitled (PSD1), 2009). In the imaginary portraits of famous American psychologist Steven Pinker, the figurative form disappears into abstract shapes. The paintings in the gallery were accompanied by a photo of the artist's studio and a drawing with a description of a device for looking at art. In his design for this device, Borowski very wittily drew the ultimate conclusion from the idea of the "white cube" of the gallery space. He proposed creating conditions for the perception of art that would resemble the effect of sensory deprivation. Viewers cut off from any external impressions and any physical sense of their own bodies could focus exclusively on the undisturbed reception of art.
In 2009 Borowski and Śliwiński prepared a series of five sculptures for the opening of a Sculpture Park in Warsaw's Bródno district as part of the 5 z Bródna (5 from Bródno) project by Galeria Vinylcanvas and ArtBazaar. These were vinyl Munny dolls artistically processed into a group of 'Pigment-men'. These unique works stood for a short time in Bródnowski Park and were documented.
The artistic duo's latest project is the book Tymek Borowski & Paweł Śliwiński. Problemy (Tymek Borowski & Paweł Śliwiński. Problems), released by the Malarzy publishing house. It includes a series of photographs by both artists presenting fictitious works of art that they invented and which could easily be on display at any gallery of contemporary art.
By: Ewa Gorządek, July 2010
Solo and Group Exhibitions:
- 2007 - "Kartofel" [Join-the-dots] painting project (with Paweł Śliwiński), Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw;
- 2007 - "16 rzeczy, które mogłyby się nie znaleźć" [16 things that might not be found], group exhibition, Galeria Artpol, Kraków;
- 2008 - "Pracownia Tarasewicza w Andaluzji [Tarasewicz's studio in Andalusia] (Tymek Borowski, Eliza Danowska, Maria Szkop, Paweł Śliwiński)", Galeria aTak, Warsaw;
- 2008/2009 - "Wspólne obrazy z ukrytym przekazem" [Joint paintings with a hidden message] (with Paweł Śliwiński), Galeria A, Warsaw;
- 2009 - "Nowe dobre czasy" [Good new days], Galeria A, Warsaw;
- 2009 - "Problemy" [Problems], graduation exhibition (with Paweł Śliwiński), Bielany Culture Centre, Warsaw.