Katarzyna Chmielarz’s paintings portray the artist’s feelings of loss of her native home in Poland. Katarzyna’s images hint at the sediments of history that she carries with her, as well as her struggles to understand her identity in relation to her past, present, and future. Through her art, Katarzyna articulates her sense of self, while also fiercely resisting the conditions that seek to determine her: nationality, politics and family.
Katarzyna is interested in the intersections between her early life and her life as a Canadian citizen struggling to make sense of the unfamiliar in her daily life. In particular, she draws on memories of her grandmother, whose mental health challenges impacted Katarzyna’s own childhood as much as the stylistic choices she makes in her art. Fashioning a “schizophrenic” form of self-expression, Katarzyna uses her paintings to express her conflict with place and others.
In her paintings, Katarzyna reveals an attraction to people characterized by a deep realism. Each painting asserts the artist’s insistence on self-discovery, a search that must resist various forms of influence, whether by nation, commerce, or trauma.
Katarzyna’s art also encapsulates shared experience. Her work expresses the gypsy heart of all those who struggle against norms, who seek goodness and wisdom across boundaries. In this way, Katarzyna’s paintings symbolize a universal search for humanity and self-expression.
"the city looks like a single gigantic creature-or more like a single collective entity created by many intertwining organisms. Countless arteries stretch to the ends of its elusive body, circulating a continuous supply of fresh blood cells, sending out new data and collecting the old, sending out new consumables and collecting the old, sending out new contradictions and collecting the old. To the rhythm of its pulsing, all parts of the body flicker and flare up and squirm. Midnight is approaching and while the peak of activity has passed, the basal metabolism that maintains life continues undiminished, producing the basso continuo of the city's moan, a monotonous sound that neither rises nor falls but is pregnant with foreboding." Murakami
A photographer and a painter join forces: two generations Katarzyna Chmielarz and Pierre Rivard , two visions, two mediums.
It is commonly said that photography killed the painting. In this collaboration, painting works to bring old black and white photographs back to life.
Pierre Rivard’s photography is a perfect example of realism. His images present snapshots of the everyday life he encountered in his hometown Montreal in the 70;s and in his travels across the world while working for Oxfam-Qc. Captured in his photographs are subjects in their habitual surrounding. Katarzyna’s scissors and paintbrush modify the context, deconstructing the original realist vision.
"The human body is essentially something other than an animal organism"
The humanity project is an on going personal painting and drawing diary. The the human body is used as a narrative for other ideas, emotional, spiritual at personal yet often universal storylines, expressing my creative journey!