All posts tagged: Bartek Świątecki (Pener)

Polish Pener Takes a “Vacation From Reality” in Christschurch, NZ

Polish Pener Takes a “Vacation From Reality” in Christschurch, NZ

Christschurch in New Zealand has seen a boom in street art for the last decade, which many say was sparked by the devastating earthquake that killed nearly 200 people in 2011. Rising like a creative phoenix on painted walls, street artists’ created an organic artful response – healing hearts and summoning community pride in the beauty here in Ōtautahi, the name given to this city first by the Māori.

Pener. Vacation From Reality exhibition at the Fiksate Galley in Christchurch, New Zealand. (photo courtesy of the artist)

A boom in the gallery scene quickly followed, and Jenna and Nathan Ingram opened Fiksate in 2015. The white box gallery is known primarily as a respected hub for the street art/urban contemporary art genres. They have a steadily growing roster of local and international artists, some of whom you may recognize.

Currently, they are hosting a show by the Polish artist Pener, whose saturated abstractions have evolved from his deconstructing of graffiti letterforms and his fascination with the mechanized world. Today he confesses that his forms are softening somewhat due to his maturing process and gentle way of looking at life. Part of a growing school of Polish artists creating abstract works, Pener (Bartek Swiqtecki) has become quite passionate about this non-figurative form that allows for individual interpretation.

Pener. Step Into the Light, 2022. Vacation From Reality exhibition at the Fiksate Galley in Christchurch, New Zealand. (photo courtesy of the artist)

He arrived in NZ after a 30-hour trip from Poland and worked quickly for a week to mount the exhibition “Vacation From Reality.” The show features eight large original canvasses, three limited-edition prints, and some abstractly grey shadowed walls on which to hang them.

Pener spoke of his process and headspace with local street art expert Reuben Woods, an art historian, writer, and curator. He writes a column for the website “Watch This Space” about the lively street art scene.

Pener. Brainstorm, 2022. Vacation From Reality exhibition at the Fiksate Galley in Christchurch, New Zealand. (photo courtesy of the artist)

From the interview, we share with you just one Q&A from their discussion that marks this exhibition to provide BSA readers with greater context and insight.

Reuben Woods: As an abstract artist, you have stated you start with an emotion and the process, and when I look at your work, I can’t help but feel it captures the anxiety and emotional fracture of contemporary society. Is that intentional or a result of our ability to read abstraction as we need to?
Pener: I often get the impression that the paintings are a bit like mirrors in which we can look at our emotions. My paintings calm me down and give me peace. Often, in the process of painting, I freeze in front of a painting. I look at it for so long that I stop thinking. It’s the same feeling as if you swim for a long time in the swimming pool or climb in the mountains and stop thinking about everyday problems. It takes you somewhere inside or outside.

Probably everyone has a slightly different interpretation of works of art – which is very interesting. Some people see specific shapes in them, others only feel emotions. I am very happy when someone interprets my paintings in a way that I did not know and did not notice.

Pener. Jungle of doom, 2022. Vacation From Reality exhibition at the Fiksate Galley in Christchurch, New Zealand. (photo courtesy of the artist)
Pener. Frozen Paths, 2022. Vacation From Reality exhibition at the Fiksate Galley in Christchurch, New Zealand. (photo courtesy of the artist)
Pener. Vacation From Reality exhibition at the Fiksate Galley in Christchurch, New Zealand. (photo courtesy of the artist)
Pener. Vacation From Reality exhibition at the Fiksate Galley in Christchurch, New Zealand. (photo courtesy of the artist)
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“RETRANSMISSION__” Presents a Contemporary Collective from Poland

“RETRANSMISSION__” Presents a Contemporary Collective from Poland

This fresh new survey of Polish artists primarily born in the 1980s is called RETRANSMISSION__ . It has as much to do with the influence of digital arts as it does with the plastic arts and art in the street.

Bartek Swiatecki Pener. “Mirror Lake”. RETRANSMISSION_ Mirus Gallery. Denver, Colorado. (photo © Nawer)

This group collection at the Denver location of Mirus Gallery may possibly represent a physical lynchpin to the coming metaverse, minus the Oculus headset. A professionalized crew of artists formally trained in studies like architecture and urbanism, illustration, graphic design, painting, typography, and sculpture; These are not the kids on the street who popularized first and second-wave graffiti of the West, but rather the students of the scene infused by lore and not necessarily beholden to it.

“This collective of artists have lived and worked amongst each other,” says the gallery press release, “individually and sometimes through collaboration for many years, establishing a contemporary style unique to Poland.”

Oskar Podolski. “Full Time Crime”. “Expect 1.0” “Nothing 2.0” RETRANSMISSION_ Mirus Gallery. Denver, Colorado. (photo © Nawer)

To mention that a certain number of these artists have a past in graffiti/street art culture sets the context of the artist’s common background, but those influences appear through mirrors, or software filters, if at all. You may look for deconstructed letter forms or raw off-kilter placements of elements, but this is such a self-aware, contemporary tableau, one may need x-ray vision to see the street from here.

Spray tags, skateboard graphics, street interventions, and covert acts of illegal artmaking may be influences in this corner of the street scene – one that has matured in the last decade and a half to embrace geometry and sophisticated illustration. It’s maturity now and development of a visual language that brings one to RETRANSMISSION__ where we are currently meditating on form, texture, refracted light, and balanced composition.

Featured Artists: Bartłomiej Chwilczyński, Bartosz Janczak, Chazme, Lukasz Berger Cekas, Lukasz Habiera Nawer, Oskar Podolski, Pawel Ryzko, Bartek Świątecki (Pener), Robert Proch, Sainer, Seikon

Bartosz Janczak. “Faun”. RETRANSMISSION_ Mirus Gallery. Denver, Colorado. (photo © Nawer)
Sainer. “Bez Nazwi-1”. RETRANSMISSION_ Mirus Gallery. Denver, Colorado. (photo © Nawer)
Bartolomiej Chwilcznski. “Journey XCII” “Journey LXXXVI”. RETRANSMISSION_ Mirus Gallery. Denver, Colorado. (photo © Nawer)
Pawel Ryzko. (left) “Modulation 01″ Chazme. (right) “Rise and Shine”. RETRANSMISSION_ Mirus Gallery. Denver, Colorado. (photo © Nawer)
Seikon. “Back to the Roots”. RETRANSMISSION_ Mirus Gallery. Denver, Colorado. (photo © Nawer)
Lukasz Berger Cekas. “Inter + Ferre”. RETRANSMISSION_ Mirus Gallery. Denver, Colorado. (photo © Nawer)
Lukasz Berger Cekas. “Inter + Ferre”. RETRANSMISSION_ Mirus Gallery. Denver, Colorado. (photo © Nawer)
Nawer. (center) “Transmission Fault 2”. “Transmission Fault 1”. RETRANSMISSION_ Mirus Gallery. Denver, Colorado. (photo © Nawer)
Robert Proch. (background left). Foreground. “Sketches 2003-2018”. RETRANSMISSION_ Mirus Gallery. Denver, Colorado. (photo © Nawer)
Left, Oskar Podolski. “Complete Manual of L1fe” and “Exclamat-i-on”. Center and right, Chazme. RETRANSMISSION_ Mirus Gallery. Denver, Colorado. (photo © Nawer)
Left and center, Oskar Podolski. Right, background Bartosz Janczak. Right, foreground Nawer. “Inter + Ferre”. RETRANSMISSION_ Mirus Gallery. Denver, Colorado. (photo © Nawer)
RETRANSMISSION_ Mirus Gallery. Denver, Colorado. (photo © Nawer)
RETRANSMISSION_ Mirus Gallery. Denver, Colorado. (photo © Nawer)

RETRANSMISSION_ At Mirus Gallery in Denver, Colorado is currently on view to the general public until July 8th. Click HERE for more details and schedules.

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