After a short hiatus, I, Pablo V. III
MFA, have returned for another astonishing segment of cunning criticism and profound postulation! Today we’ll be looking at Michal Janowski’s chilling paintings, which seem to be pulled straight from the headlines of the collective unconscious’ favorite zine. This first piece by Janowski, entitled, “It Is Hard To Tell Which Part of a Dream Could Be Real; Man With The Melted Ice Cream” seems to deal with neither a man, nor melting Ice Cream. Unless, if by “man” you mean “horrific goat monster,” and by “Ice Cream” you mean “please stop gazing into my soul with your empty, nightmare eyes.” Nevertheless, it is evident that Janowski’s work draws heavily on the amalgamated memories of dreams long forgotten.
With this second piece, “Shape Shifting as Favourite Method of Deception” a sense of mischief and dubiousness arises in the gentle smile of the beak. The color palette is brilliantly augmented by the inclusion of the two floating clementines behind our figure. And the brush strokes that Janowski employs are both seamless and overt, dancing between photo-realism and expressionistic… expression.
“Permanent Liminality” evokes a sense of longing and transformation with the suggestive imagery lapsing in and out of realism. The dictionary defines liminality as: the transitional period or phase of a rite of passage, during which the participant lacks social status or rank, remains anonymous, shows obedience and humility, and follows prescribed forms of conduct, dress, etc. What a fitting title for an image that seems to vacillate between a very certain and defined sense of identity, and ambiguous representational abstraction.
“Limen; Man in the Coyote Mask,” the last piece of our selection, is genuinely disturbing and wonderful. For those of us who like our art terrifying and unsettling, Mr. Janowski is here to ensure that your craving for the creeps is satisfied. Undercurrents of cultural tradition permeate Mr. Janowski’s work, offering another glimpse into the collective unconscious’ desire for acceptance and affirmation. After all, to become the nightmare is to also reach the end of fearing the nightmare. As for themes of “rites of passage,” Mr. Janowski may be processing the arduous and frightful experience of passing from observational subject to observed object. Whatever the case may be, one thing is for certain… I just can’t be sure about what that is.
Pablo V. III
Editor’s note: views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of Comedy So Serious!