Born in Poland, Katarzyna Chmielarz is a Montreal based artist, a graduate of Studio Arts and Art History from Concordia University. With mixed endevours within painting, stage design, performance, Katarzyna or Katchmi is a mutlifaceted artist, eager to explore the possibilities of total creative expression beyond aesthetic/ thetrical bounderies.
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.