All posts tagged: Pener

Bartek Swiatecki / Pener: Selected Works 15-21

Bartek Swiatecki / Pener: Selected Works 15-21

A new book here features six years of selected works from a Polish graffiti writer, muralist, and professor of art and painting at a secondary school in his hometown of Olsztyn, Pener. He reckons that his life is one of ‘Planned Freestyle,’ meaning that having structure imposed upon him is very helpful in focusing his creative mind. You may quickly appreciate this characterization if you know any artists.

Bartek Swiatecki / Pener. Selected Works 15 – 21. Printed in Poland © Bartek Swiatecki

The collection of selected works here by Barteck Swiatecki is as luminous and optically rewarding to the viewer as they are opaque to the mind and stirring to the heart. With prolific and gently evolving abstractions in movement, you can see an artist at work, at play, and his personal best – topping his previous work. The grandson of another painter and professor (of philology), Miroslaw Swiatecki, and the nephew of a famous painter and animator, Marek Swiatecki, perhaps it was only a matter of time before this 90s graffiti writer moved into more formal practices on canvas and walls.

In an in-depth interview, Pener reveals his sometimes complex feelings about the label of street artist, almost as if it diminishes his abilities and craft.

“Almost all of my friends I paint with are graduates of art faculties at universities or academies; most of them are architects or graphic designers,” he says. “Each of us works hard, so I get angry sometimes when we are labeled street artists because it is a huge simplification.”

The sentiment rings true, although we have never had anything but respect for street artists, regardless of their formal training. We witness a struggle for definitions at nearly every juncture along this graffiti/street art/fine art/mural art/contemporary art continuum.

In the end, the work speaks for itself, as this book can attest.

Bartek Swiatecki / Pener. Selected Works 15 – 21. Printed in Poland © Bartek Swiatecki

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Summer Fires Light the Olsztyn Sky: Pener in Poland

Summer Fires Light the Olsztyn Sky: Pener in Poland

“It was always firmly hidden in a small forest,” Pener says of this wall he has been painting for the last 20 years. Like many graffiti artists who gravitate to abandoned margins of post-industrial landscapes, Pener’ discovered’ this wall and revisited it to paint, thinking it was unknown to many.

Bartek Pener Swiatecki. Light Up The Sky / 2022 / Olsztyn / Polska. (photo courtesy of the artist)

“Hardly anyone knew about her and visited her,” he says. “It was more like a private wall than a hall of fame.”

Now he has a larger audience. The property is now rehabilitated, and all that forest has been cleared. His new fiery composition rages with the summer heat, bringing to mind the fires that rage over parts of the earth this time of year. When winter’s severity keeps everyone inside again, and it will, Pener’s summer heat may appear as a dream.

The wall has opened up many possibilities for the street artist/studio artist. While he’s happy to exhibit his work here, you can tell he longs for the quiet solitude of his formerly secreted location. “Very interesting how its perception changes. It’s like a new opening,” he says. “I can’t get used to it all the time.”

Bartek Pener Swiatecki. Light Up The Sky / 2022 / Olsztyn / Polska. (photo courtesy of the artist)
Bartek Pener Swiatecki. Light Up The Sky / 2022 / Olsztyn / Polska. (photo courtesy of the artist)
Bartek Pener Swiatecki. Light Up The Sky / 2022 / Olsztyn / Polska. (photo courtesy of the artist)
Bartek Pener Swiatecki. Light Up The Sky / 2022 / Olsztyn / Polska. (photo courtesy of the artist)
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Pener Paints a “Kaleidoscope” at School in Olsztyn, Poland

Pener Paints a “Kaleidoscope” at School in Olsztyn, Poland

In preparation for the new academic year, street artist and muralist Pener is painting on the wall of a primary school in his city of Olsztyn, Poland.

Bartek Pener Swiatecki. “Kaleidoscope”. Olsztyn, Poland. (photo © Arek Stankiewicz)

He tells us that he has named the new piece  “Kaleidoscope,” possibly because it reminds him of those hand operated optical toys that produce new abstract patterns that change as you rotate them and look into a source of light.

How many people get a chance to see the many special effects of these when they are children? Of his new painting, Pener says, “I hope the wall will give kids inspiration and energy.”

Below you can see a video of how a kaleidoscope is made.

Bartek Pener Swiatecki. “Kaleidoscope”. Olsztyn, Poland. (photo © Arek Stankiewicz)
Bartek Pener Swiatecki. “Kaleidoscope”. Olsztyn, Poland. (photo © Arek Stankiewicz)
Bartek Pener Swiatecki. “Kaleidoscope”. Olsztyn, Poland. (photo © Arek Stankiewicz)
Bartek Pener Swiatecki. “Kaleidoscope”. Olsztyn, Poland. (photo © Arek Stankiewicz)
Bartek Pener Swiatecki. “Kaleidoscope”. Olsztyn, Poland. (photo © Arek Stankiewicz)
Bartek Pener Swiatecki. “Kaleidoscope”. Olsztyn, Poland. (photo © Arek Stankiewicz)
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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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Pener: Identity And History

Pener: Identity And History

The genesis of Pener’s new wall in Olsztyn, Poland goes back a year ago. He and Krzysztof Dąbkowski, who is the director of the Municipal Public Library of Olsztyn, agreed on the idea that the project should reflect the literary tradition of Warmia and Mazury, the Polish region in which Olsztyn is located.

Bartek Świątecki AKA Pener. Olsztyn, Poland. (photo © Mateusz Świątecki / Kamil Iwańczyk)
Bartek Świątecki AKA Pener. Olsztyn, Poland. (photo © Mateusz Świątecki / Kamil Iwańczyk)
Bartek Świątecki AKA Pener. Olsztyn, Poland. (photo © Mateusz Świątecki / Kamil Iwańczyk)

Says Pener, “Specifically intertwined with the notion of “Atlantis of the North”, the author of which is the poet and writer Kazimierz Brakoniecki. I am very open to this type of synergistic projects that can significantly encourage reflection on our identity. As a creator and artist, I wanted to create something more than just an illustration for a literary text”.

Bartek Świątecki AKA Pener. Olsztyn, Poland. (photo © Mateusz Świątecki / Kamil Iwańczyk)
Bartek Świątecki AKA Pener. Olsztyn, Poland. (photo © Mateusz Świątecki / Kamil Iwańczyk)
Bartek Świątecki AKA Pener. Olsztyn, Poland. (photo © Mateusz Świątecki / Kamil Iwańczyk)

The artist was inspired not just by the text of “Atlantis of the North” but also by the shape of the building, its location and the spatial context.

Bartek Świątecki AKA Pener. Olsztyn, Poland. (photo © Mateusz Świątecki / Kamil Iwańczyk)
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“The Art Of The Mural: Volume 01” Captures a Moment

“The Art Of The Mural: Volume 01” Captures a Moment

Murals hold their own place onstage in public space today for a variety of reasons that we discuss regularly on BSA. From grassroots and public, to private and corporate, we have watched the genre professionalize as Street Art festivals and other initiatives are often coupling artists with brands and are selling canvasses through the organizers galleries. Today we have the first of a promised four-part book series by Art Whino gallerist and organizer of the Richmond Mural Project in Virginia, Shane Pomajambo, that features many artists he has worked with in the brand new “The Art of the Mural”.

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Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

Featuring more than fifty current graffiti/Street Artists, the survey pays special attention to the show-stopping eye candy that commands attention for these nomadic painters who are developing their craft before an ever larger and more appreciative international audience.

Culture critic and curator Carlo McCormick, who writes the introduction to the Schiffer published hardcover, notes that this mural renaissance is quite unlike the US government funded New Deal era mural programs that produced “hundreds of thousands of murals for schools, hospitals, post offices, housing projects, and various government facilities”. And he’s right, these are emanating from a different place entirely.

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Antony Lister. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

The world-traveling media-soaked artists, of which this collection is subset, have had vastly more exposure to corporations and branding perhaps than, say, arts institutions, and a sophisticated self-handling is often on display with artists ever more savvy in their choices of style and content.

A greater percentage are now entering into private collections, galleries, and museums thanks to unprecedented platforms for huge exposure on the Internet, and their public works are adding rich character and dialogue to our neighborhoods and public spaces.

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Curiot. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

With academia, art critics, and auction houses all grappling with the rightful place of these artists in contemporary art and society at large it will be instructive to know the history and their lineage, content, context, and patronage. One has to agree when McCormick says that all of these “are helpful for us to consider in looking at and understanding the artists’ walls of today.”

This collection of talent is strong, with many of the mid-large names that are at play in this generation of painters whom are primarily born in the 1970s and 80s. In their work is a cultural appreciation for modern graffiti history as they now channel it along with formal training, art history, advertising, and a multitude of media. With few exceptions, it’s a tight list of artists, the images are riveting (though uncredited to their photographers), and the brief introductions by Pomajambo contain just enough biographical information and artist’ quotes to ground the story and give it context.

“As with everything I do,” says the Queens, New York native Pomajambo, “I always question and observe, and as we reach critical mass with murals I felt compelled to create this project and capture a moment in time.”

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Evoca 1. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

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Fintan Magee. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

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Miss Van. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

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MOMO. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

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Onur & Wes 21. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

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Telmo & Miel. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

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Tone (Robert Proch). Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

 

All photos of the spreads by Jaime Rojo

 

The Art of The Mural: Contemporary International Urban Art. Volume 01 by Shaen Pomajambo. Schiffer Publishing. Atglen, PA. USA.

Participating Artists
Amose, Arraiano, Augustine Kofie, Axel Void, Bezt (Etam Crew), Chazme 718, Chor boogie, Clog Two, Curiot, Cyrcle, DALeast, Decertor, Dface, ETNIK, Faith47, Fintan Magee, Hense, INTI, Jade, Jaz, JR, Kenor, Lister, Logan Hicks, Low Bros, Meggs, Miss Van, Momo, Mr Thoms, Muro, Natalia Rak, Nosego, Onur, Pener, Reka, Robert “Tone” Proch,Ron English, Rone, Sainer (Etam Crew), SATONE, SEACREATIVE, Sepe, Smithone, Sten Lex, Stormie Mills, Telmo Miel, Tristan Eaton, TWOONE HIROYASU, Vhils, Wes21 and Zed 1

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Large Murals Adorn The City Of Lodz In Poland

The city of Lodz in Poland is promoting the work of Street Artists from around the world as a way of creating a cultural re-invigoration of this city whose population is three quarters of a million.  Begun in 2009, the Urban Forms Gallery has installed more than 20 large square paintings on elevations in the city center.

The public/private partnership and the addition of the artwork has attracted business and investment, and of course urban exploring tourists who can follow a map to see the works within a couple of hours. As a model for employing the talents of Street Artists to create public art in service of the re-invigoration of a city, this one appears to be very successful at respecting the work while adding value to a neighborhood, district, city, and community.

The roster of nearly two dozen works features international Street Artists like Os Gemeos from Brazil, Aryz from Spain, and Remed from France along with one of Poland’s proud Street Art sons named M-City from Gdynia, a city three hours north of here, and two hometown local talents Bezt and Sainer from the ETAM Crew.

Here are a number of images of many of the walls that have been going up in the last few years.  Special thanks to Michał Bieżyński for sharing these images with us exclusively for BSA readers.

 

Aryz (photo © Courtesy Urban Forms)

Aryz (photo © Courtesy Urban Forms)

Aryz . Os Gemeos (photo © Courtesy Urban Forms)

MCity (photo © Courtesy Urban Forms)

Betzt (photo © Courtesy Urban Forms)

Shida (photo © Courtesy Urban Forms)

Sainer (photo © Courtesy Urban Forms)

Remed (photo © Courtesy Urban Forms)

Pener (photo © Courtesy Urban Forms)

Otecki (photo © Courtesy Urban Forms)

Massmix (photo © Courtesy Urban Forms)

Lump (photo © Courtesy Urban Forms)

Krik (photo © Courtesy Urban Forms)

Kenor (photo © Courtesy Urban Forms)

ETAM Crew (photo © Courtesy Urban Forms)

Gregor (photo © Courtesy Urban Forms)

Click on the links below to learn more about URBAN FORMS and for news regarding the new murals.

http://www.urbanforms.org/projects/en

https://www.facebook.com/urbanforms

 

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This posting is also published on The Huffington Post

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