Alicja Biała is a visual and graphic artist and designer. She graduated from Via University College and the Copenhagen School of Design and Technology in Denmark. She currently studies at the Royal College of Art in London. Her illustrations are regularly published in Denmark, Poland, Germany, China and Australia, among others. She is also the author of murals located in Poland, Portugal, Mexico, USA and Kassel, Germany (the latter was prepared for the 14th edition of the contemporary art exhibition Documenta). Biała’s work has been awarded and exhibited in Poland and abroad, and featured in numerous publications. The first book with her illustrations is a selection of Marcin Świetlicki’s poetry Polska (wiązanka pieśni patriotycznych) [Poland (a medley of patriotic songs)]. http://www.alicjabiala.com/
Magdalena Sawicka (b. 1990) is a graphic and tattoo artist and illustrator. Until recently, she has been known as the Sick Rose. She collects figures of Our Lady. At her favourite marketplace, she is known as the ‘Virgin Mary Lady’.
Bolesław Chromry (b. 1987) is a graphic artist, painter, illustrator and author of graphic novels working as a copywriter. He collects figures of peeing boys and is not a paedophile.
Mirella von Chrupek was born in 1980 in Łódź, but currently lives in Warsaw. She is a photographer, designer and collector, who also works with set design, arranges shop displays and produces small sculptural forms. In her artistic practice, she creates small alternative spaces and parallel mini-worlds. Between 2014 and 2017, she ran Gablotka – a small street gallery on 41 Marszałkowska Street in the centre of Warsaw, where she regularly showcased her display arrangements and miniature worlds. She co-wrote Dino Bambino, a book about the adventures of characters who appeared in subsequent incarnations of Gablotka (Wytwórnia publishing house, 2018). She has her own column, ‘Mirella’s Microcosm’, in Kosmos dla Dziewczynek magazine for girls. Von Chrupek holds a scholarship of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage.
photo: Maurycy Gomulicki
Oskar Dawicki is a performer, author of objects and videos. He was born on 28 July 1971 in Starogard Gdański. Between 2001 and 2010, he was one of the members of the Azorro art group. In 1991–96, he studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, where he earned his MFA in painting from the studio of Prof. Lech Wolski. In his works, he usually employs ironic meta-reflection, which was also typical for actions of the Azorro group. Yet in his individual case, this strategy serves as a point of departure to tackle several other problems, particularly in the sphere of identity. Humour is another indispensable element of his projects, which usually elude simple art-historical descriptions. Since 1995, he has almost always appeared in a blue brocade jacket, which became his trademark.
Justyna Górowska (b. 1988) is a performance artist employing interdisciplinarity in her art practice. She received her MFA from the Faculty of Intermedia of the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts and is currently studying for her PhD at the Faculty of Multimedia Communication of the Poznań University of Arts. Since 2014, she has cooperated with the lokal_30 gallery in Warsaw. In 2016, she opened an experimental branch of the Razem Pamoja Foundation in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. She received the award of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage (2015) and the Visegrad Fund grant (twice: in 2017 and 2018). Her projects were presented in Berlin (Freies Museum, 2009), Quebec City (Le Lieu Gallery, 2014), Dallas (Cydonia Gallery, 2015), Sao Paulo (PIVO Gallery, 2016), Jakarta (National Gallery of Indonesia, 2016), Yogyakarta (Sesama, 2017), Warsaw (Museum of Modern Art, 2017) and New York (Art in General, 2017).
Filip Ignatowicz (b. 1990) is a graduate of the Faculty of Painting of the Gdańsk Academy of Fine Arts. His graduation work Production, commercialisation and hype – on consuming art earned him a degree from the studios of Prof. Henryk Cześnik, Prof. Witosław Czerwonka and Prof. Robert Florczak, and received the award of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage at the Best Fine Arts Graduation Work exhibition. Ignatowicz has also completed directing studies at the Gdynia Film School. Since 2017, he has worked as assistant at the Faculty of Painting of the Gdańsk Academy of Fine Arts. In 2018, he earned his PhD with the dissertation Art Fair. The consumer versus culture – on fake, lovebranding and self-commodification. His works mostly look at the life of people functioning within the consumer reality. Although his art is rooted in painting, in it in fact multidisciplinary: Ignatowicz creates videos, objects, installations, performance art and actions in public spaces. He also works with film, photography, art and research projects as well as video set design. He is the author of the FIGNACY&co. project and the artUNBOXING video series.
Marcin Janusz was born in Przeworsk in 1991, but has been associated with Kraków for the past 11 years, having graduated from two universities there. In 2013, he received his Bachelor’s degree in Emergency Medicine from the Collegium Medicum, Jagiellonian University, and in 2018 he earned his MFA in Painting from the Academy of Fine Arts. He also studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium, under the Erasmus student exchange programme. He is currently a PhD student at his alma mater.
Janusz’s work was shown in Poland and abroad: at the final exhibition of the Hestia Artistic Journey competition at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (twice: in 2017 and 2018) and group shows Rośl-inne at ABC Gallery in Poznań (2018) and Sparrows Are Chirping in Greek at Thrialida Cultural Centre in Athens, Greece. His most recent solo exhibitions are 90% of Juice, 10% of Sugar at Labirynt Gallery in Lublin (March 2018) and 27 Elements and Others at Shefter Gallery in Kraków (May 2018).
Agata Królat (b. 1987) designs and illustrates for children of all ages. Winner of the MUST HAVE competition at the Łódź Design Festival and the Polish Advertising Club (KTR) award, she has also received mentions of honour from IBBY and the Polish Society of Book Publishers (PTWK). Her illustrations have been shown at festivals and exhibitions in New York, Tokyo, London, Brussels and Paris, among others. She works as assistant lecturer at the Faculty of Graphics of the Gdańsk Academy of Fine Arts. In 2016, Królak received the ‘Young Poland’ scholarship from the National Centre for Culture. In 2018, she earned her PhD with the dissertation Talking with Images. Picture Books and the Development of Visual Language.
photo: Renata Dąbrowska
Honorata Martin was born in Gdańsk, where she graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts (earning her degree in painting from the studio of Prof. Mieczysław Olszewski, with an annex in intermedia from Prof. Wojciech Zamiara). She works with painting, drawing, photography, video and performance art. In her artistic practice, Martin often attempts to transgress the limitations of her own body and social taboos. Her actions mostly unfold in real time. For Going Out into Poland, she left her Gdańsk apartment without any predefined assumptions or goals. In around two months, she walked to Dzierżoniów in the south of Poland. During her performance Settling In, she moved to a park in the Bródno district of Warsaw, where she lived in a self-made shelter. She designed her actions, based on interactions with people, on a daily basis.
photo: Alina Żemojdzin
Luka Rayski was born in 1982 in Warsaw. In 2009, he graduated with honours from the Faculty of Graphics of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts and in 2014 received his MFA in Fine Arts from the Parsons School of Design in New York (as a Fulbright scholarship holder). He works with broadly understood painting as well as poster and press illustration. In 2007, he won the Minister of Culture’s award in the Eugeniusz Geppert Competition at the National Exhibition of Young Painting. Since 2009, many of his drawings have been printed in a number of magazines, including Polityka, Wysokie Obcasy and Tygodnik Powszechny. He designed the Constitution poster, which became the symbol of recent anti-government protests in Poland. Since 2017, Rayski has been associated with the Szydłowski Gallery.
Open Group was founded in August 2012 in Lviv, Ukraine by six young artists: Eugene Samborsky, Yuriy Biley, Anton Varga, Oleg Perkovsky, Pavlo Kovach and Stanislav Turina. The basic structure of Open Group’s activity involves engaging people in art projects for a set period when the projects are ongoing. The group’s work is based on analysing the interactions and communication between people, artists, the situation and space. Open Group represented the Ukrainian National Pavilion at the 56th and 58th Venice Biennale.
Permanent members of the group:
Yuriy Biley (b. 1988, Ukraine), lives and works in Wrocław, Poland and Lviv, Ukraine.
Anton Varga (b. 1989, Ukraine), lives and works in New York, USA and Lviv, Ukraine.
Pavlo Kovach (b. 1987, Ukraine), lives and works in Lviv, Ukraine.
Stanislav Turinа (b. 1988, Ukraine), lives and works in Mukachevo and Pavshyno, Ukraine.
Mariusz Waras was born in 1978 in Gdynia. Having completed his post-doctoral studies, he currently works as professor at the Szczecin Academy of Art, where he runs the Image and Street Art studio at the Faculty of Painting and New Media. He was involved in the Wiosna Ludów (Spring of Nations) art collective – after its transformation into the WL4 Art Space Association, he became its chairman. He also works with graphic design, spatial installations and large-format painting. The latter work, particularly his early mural M-city – which became his artistic trademark – turned Mariusz Waras into one of the most recognizable street artists worldwide. From the outset, he has structured his works around urban aesthetics, employing architectural and industrial motifs (including elements of the shipyard or means of transport). Initially, these were mostly dehumanised landscapes and machines in the process of production or destruction, but with time, his works began to include his personal reflections and manifestoes, sometimes taking on the form of concise comments on current events. Waras is also a curator of exhibitions and artistic events.
Ada Zielińska (b. 1989) is a visual artist working with photography and installations. Her works attempt to bend the surrounding reality, clashing with disaster and demise. They are informed by dangerous or illegal behaviours, hooliganism, fires and accidents. The situations arranged for her photographs often attempt to capture the momentary beauty of (or just before) disintegration. Zielińska graduated from the Faculty of Media Art of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts and is currently a student of the Institute of Creative Photography in Opava, Czechia.
Paweł Paulus Mazur (b. 1968 in Lublin) is a cultural organizer, co-founder of the Gdańsk TOTART group, poet, graphic artist, musician and radio journalist. His drawings were published in Przekrój and Gazeta Morska, among others – in parallel, he also drew his famous underground comic books: Twins, Pure Sure 217 and Historia Wieśka Debozy (The history of Wiesiek Deboza). He published two poetry volumes: Taktyka Zegara (Clock tactics) and Szwedzki stół (Smorgasbord). He often involves himself in long-term romances with radio stations as author of spoken word and music shows that are as rough as they are rogue (his most famous programme was Windą na szafę, created for Radiostacja with Krzysztof Siemiak). Mazur starred in satirical TV shows, such as Dzyndzylyndzy, Brzóska Show, Lalamido and Sprężyna Paulusa. Since the 1990s, he has also released ‘electro-swing’ records. He sometimes plays with the poet Marcin Świetlicki as Future Radio Project or Biały Robot. In April 2019, London’s Tate Modern screened his animated film from 1993–95 titled Twins.
Dariusz Brzóska Brzóskiewicz is a native of Gdańsk who currently lives in Warsaw. He is a well-known haiku author, whose poems have for a couple of years been published in Przekrój, among others. At one point, Polish Prime Minister Belka gave a volume of Brzóskiewicz’s haikus translated into Japanese to the Imperial Couple of Japan. The Emperor has been a fan ever since. Brzóskiewicz is also the author of several nonsense programmes in the Brzóska Show series made for public television in the early 1990s. He wrote several volumes of poetry, including haiku. His poetry is an expression of fleeting thoughts alternating with natural, everyday events, often very trivial, yet elevated to extraordinary associative dimensions. Brzóska is also the singer and author of lyrics in Awoda Zara 55, Astromix La Manche, 5 Piramid (with Paulus Mazur) and Haiku Freestyle (with Stanisław Sojka). He’s also a member of the ephemeral poetry formation that grew out of TOTART: ‘Zlali Mi Się Do Środka’ Poetic Group.
Patryk Hardziej is an internationally active, interdisciplinary illustrator, graphic designer and researcher. He lectures at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk and is the founder of ‘Art of Design’ courses under the patronage of Karol Śliwka. He is the originator and curator of the Second Polish Exhibition of Graphic Symbols, an international exhibition of Polish design shown in five countries and awarded with the ‘2016 Design of the Year’ award. Hardziej collaborated with such brands and institutions as Amnesty International, British Airways, BMW, Costa Coffee, Coca-Cola, Mini, New Scientist Magazine, Bertagnolli, Mondadori Libri, Zachęta National Art Gallery and the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management of New Zealand.
Edgar Bąk works with broadly understood visual communication. The focus of his design activity is creating visual identities – in both comprehensive corporate identity systems and posters or album covers. He has won a number of awards, including for his children’s illustrations and book designs. The most important distinctions are: the Polish Advertising Club – KTR (10 statuettes), the Association of Polish Graphic Designers (STGU), Book of the Year, Chimera and Society of Publishing Designers in New York. He has held workshops in Japan and Israel, among others, and teaches a publishing design course at the Poznań School of Form. Together with Charlotte West, he made Projekt: The Polish Journal of Visual Art and Design for the Unit Editions publishing house.
Ola Niepsuj lives and works in Warsaw. She is an illustrator and graphic artist who designs posters, corporate identities and infographics. She combines traditional techniques with digital drawings to create eclectic collages. Niepsuj has worked for the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Nike, Converse, Taschen, Thames and Hudson, HBO, Showmax, Ikea, Apple, Melissa and Skanska. She graduated from the Władysław Strzemiński Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź. She also studied in Portugal: at the Escola Superior de Artes e Design de Matosinhos and the Fine Arts Faculty of the University of Porto. In 2017, Ola Niepsuj received the silver medal of the Society of Illustrators, New York. Her works have also been recognized (three times) in the prestigious American Illustration yearbook and received two gold medals in the Polish Advertising Club (KTR) competition. Her art has been shown at over 140 exhibitions in Poland and 30 other countries, including Japan, France, Sweden, the UK, Germany, South Korea, Portugal, Belgium, Bolivia, USA, Italy and Cuba.
Katarzyna Bogucka earned her MFA in Painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń in 2009. She is a multidimensional illustrator. Her works may be seen in the press (Twój Styl, Zwierciadło, Wysokie Obcasy, etc.), in children’s books, animated films and broadly understood sphere of design. Owing to this variety of professional challenges, her works are always original, and yet coherent and true to her trademark style. The distinctive features of her art include geometrical, modern silhouettes and shapes and an extraordinary colour palette. In-between collaboration with cultural institutions and commercial customers, she somehow finds the time for her own projects, which may be seen e.g. at nioska.com.
Dawid Ryski (b. 1982) is a landscape architect by profession. He currently lives and works in Puławy. He is the author of numerous press illustrations (Computer World, The Washington Post, The New York Observer, L’Optimum, American Lawyer Magazine, Esquire) and concert posters (Franz Ferdinand, Editors, Nomeansno, Twin Shadow, Enter Shikari). Apart from that, Ryski designs murals, album and book covers as well as graphic patterns for clothing companies. He has worked with Apple, Saucony, Eurovision Music Contest, The British Council, Converse, Ikea, Dumont and Lagom Design, among others.
Próżnia is Philip Häveker, whose debut album will be released by Latarnia Records later on in the year, with 1988 from Syny dabbling in the production. Próżnia is Filip’s melancholy, sensitive and personal incarnation, sung and served in a surprisingly tranquilising form. Apart from beautiful melodies and songs, there’s a distinct rap touch to the material and the texts are delivered with incredible ease – after all, Filip is an active member of the Gdynia-based UNDADASEA (UNDA Records) crew, fond of trap/hip-hop experimentation.
Wirginia Szmyt (b. 1938) is a social activist involved in matters concerning senior citizens. An educator by profession, she spent her entire working life with disabled children and difficult youths. Following her retirement, she became actively involved in work for the senior population as part of the University of the Third Age. She is a mother and grandmother, author of poems and satirical texts. Wirginia Szmyt is also the oldest DJ in Poland (DJ Wika) – and perhaps even the world. She breaks down stereotypes concerning senior citizens in Poland.
‘What does LIBERTY mean to me? It’s the most beautiful condition, the possibility to grow, build one’s autonomy, independence, something that brings happiness… I CAN, I WANT TO, BUT I DON’T HAVE TO… It’s my choice and not an order.’
Paweł Włodarski was born in Wąbrzeźno, where he still lives. This year, he earned his MA in fashion design from Central Saint Martins, London, and received the L’Oréal Professionnel scholarship. He also has a BA in fashion design from the VIA Design College in Denmark. His works are inspired with soft art, the provinces and shyness. His graduation collection concerned the intensity of dating and the ease with which we become attached to another human being.
SIKSA [danger/discomfort bass grrrl punk * Gniezno/Gnesen/Hnězdno] is the last representative of the future choreographic turn in punk. Riot upon request (no need to organise tenders) & clickbait controversy. Two-headed stage singer, deadly serious about square bass figures. Unqualified NOISE-FITNESS instructor, who divides workout into endurance, strength and combined forms. Her ‘Freiheit’s aerobic five’, based on the conditions of instability and imbalance, is not adapted to individual user needs. In terms of fitness, this is the worst advertisement for Gniezno since the 966 Baptism of Poland in Magdeburg. Siksa wants to be for Czechs what Ewa Farna is for Poles. She used to be a Superhero. She has no time for male-dominated festivals.
Kalafior Derambo (b. 1984) is a well-behaved rapper from Tricity, who graduated in Philosophy. He rhymed in high school, he rhymed at university and then stopped rhyming for a short while. In 2014, he returned to Poland from a number of vegetational voyages, and – through a stroke of luck – met Ania, thanks to whom he was no longer in limbo. To celebrate, he recorded Bugibba, a concept album released on 24 June 2017. Two years later, he returns with a new record, Na mego ducha nie siada mucha, where he is no longer that polite because of a debt with six zeros: ‘My sister got me into debt amounting to one million four hundred thousand zloty. She bought land in my name (…)and did not clarify this transaction in any way before the Tax Office. In the meantime, I left the country and only a few years later did I found out that I had been entered on the list of insolvent debtors, with a tax debt of PLN 800,000 plus interest – PLN 100,000 a year. 1,400,000 in total. What can one do in a situation like that? Go crazy, break down or grit your teeth and keep doing your own thing, making every effort not to succumb to this black hole composed of six zeros.’
Gnojki are an art and social collective from Tricity: a collection of dynamic particles active in artistic, musical and engineering circles. When they merge, they produce events that are a fusion of their skills, fascinations and desires. They also harness the energy of invited artists. They tend to stay at the Baltic seaside.
Yowee is a Lębork-born rapper known from his participation in freestyle battles. He has won several of them and is an active member of the underground hip-hop scene in the Gdańsk-Sopot-Gdynia area. He is the co-founder and moderator of the ‘Rap Ustaffka’ series, showcasing up-and-coming and established rappers from the entire Pomeranian region.
O’beats, real name Michał Obitz (b. 1995 in Kętrzyn) is a young music producer, DJ and one-man orchestra currently living and working in Gdańsk. Member of the Technicznie Kawior O’beats duo with rapper Kawior, O’beats has always been focused primarily on beatmaking, but he sometimes also reaches for the microphone to record rap tunes. Michał has also founded the I Nie Żałuj (No regrets) collective.
Kwiaty were formed in Gdańsk in 2016 by four rather cheerful friends. Their music has four different roots, which together give rise to a combination of indie rock, psych, shoegaze and Twin Peaks inspirations. Kwiaty oscillate at the intersection of genres, creating engaging songs that occasionally verge on more dynamic elements, rooted in punk. They play their own material, which is sung in Polish. For Kwiaty, the lyrics are more than just a background to the music, serving as an important part of each of their miniature stories.