PHENOMENA EVOKING THEOSIS
I Stand Before the Mirror Like a Dog and Paint
"I Stand Before the Mirror Like a Dog and Paint" Exhibition by Maja Krysiak at HOS Gallery in Warsaw August 12 - September 16, 2023 Curator: Michalina Sablik Headless giantesses are afraid to sleep alone. They have bodies large, powerful, and fragile at the same time. Ambivalent and non-normative curiosities. They carry their small likenesses in their hands. They gaze upon them affectionately as if they were their own children. They walk with a pack of toy terriers tangling between their legs, as that's the only time they feel safe. In the evenings, they peel back heavy layers of skin, daily facades, revealing sensitive insides – scratches, bumps, and imperfections. Just a glance behind the curtain reveals their soft and delicate underbellies. You can hear them sobbing and chuckling endlessly. The headless giantesses are filled with living creatures – bats and panthers, their fangs, claws, and jaws. They don't need heads. They are led by affect. Maja Krysiak worked on her latest painting series without a head. The large, raw canvases and sketching technique forced her to search for an authentic gesture and the physical application of paint. The final composition emerged in a single attempt. The artist allowed herself to be carried by a therapeutic and meditative process. She dared to trust herself and her intuition. No sketches or designs were prepared. This creative method taught her to be in the "here and now" and to accept that a laid brushstroke cannot be undone or a faulty movement revised. In the creative process, she tried not to think, to go with the "element," leaping over the canvas like a tightrope walker in the circus. The new technique and materials led her to set aside traditional oil painting. The slowly maturing technique allowed her for "tomfoolery," meaning corrections, reflections, introducing changes, and concealing them under layers of painterly skins. In contrast, in "Headless Giantesses," the artist explores mindfulness, sincerity, and pure emotion. An important aspect of these works is their scale and installability, forcing the viewer into specific movements – lying down, rubbing, or touching. Contrary to common ocular-centric perspectives, Krysiak turns towards the senses, and the giantesses' bodies become radars of emotional states.