Fig. 1 Zdzisław Bekśinski, Untitled (1975), 122cm x 98cm, Oil on Canvas.
There is no other artist that has inspired and influenced me more than the Polish painter Zdzisław Bekśinski. His profound and sometimes disturbing paintings opened my eyes to the possibilities of this medium. Bekśinsky was a Fantastical Realist (Historical Museum in Sanok, n. d.). In hindsight I think I decided to become an artist when I first saw his work with awe (Fig. 1). I never considered CG or Animation as a viable career path. Until I went to University where I was introduced to this vast medium. During this time I had “my eyes opened” once again when I saw the Oscar Award nominated Polish short filmThe Cathedral (Platige Image, 2002). When I saw this beautiful and existential piece I though –This is the animated Bekśinski–. Once again I realised the power of a new medium (Fig. 2).
Fig. 2. Tomasz Bagiński, The Cathedral (2002), 3D Animation, 6:38 min.
I think that Tomasz Bagiński, director and creator of The Cathedral, was deeply influenced by Bekśinski. Bekśinsky, on the other hand, had a clear expressionistic influence since early in his career. Even when his work embraced more figurative visuals he never accepted to give any meaning or story to his work. Bekśinski once stated that “meaning is meaningless to me” (Morpheus Gallery, n. d.).
Bagiński did not copy Bekśinski and Bekśinski did not copy his predecessors. But we do see a clear influence from one artist to the other. I think it’s important to see not only the influence but also the difference. Bagiński clearly introduces new aesthetics and concepts, more noticeably 3D Animation. But apart from the obvious CG, what I find most different in both artists is their statement. Bekśinski statement is that he has no statement, while Bagiński clearly has one, and I could argue that a story needs one. I think that this is the primordial difference between the two artists. I think that what is important to analyze when looking at two artists that seem similar, is to ask –How are they different?
Historical Museum in Sanok (n. d.) Zdzisłwaw Beksśinski [Website]. Available at: Sanok Museum [Accessed: 11 March 2015]
Morpheus Gallery (n. d.) Zdzislaw Beksinski Biography [Online]. Available at: Morpheus Gallery [Accessed: 11 March 2015].
Platige Image (2002) The Cathedral [Website]. Available at: Platige Shorts [Accessed: 11 March 2015].
List of videos and Images
Fig. 1 Zdzisław Bekśinski, Untitled (1972), 122cm x 98cm, Oil on Canvas. Bosz Art (2005) Bekśinski 1 (3rd Edition). Olszanica: Bosz.
Fig. 2 Tomasz Bagiński, The Cathedral (2002), 3D Animation, 6:38 min. Platige Image (2002) The Cathedral [Website]. Available at: Platige Shorts [Accessed: 11 March 2015].