Today’s featured artist is Zdzislaw Beksinski, a surrealist artist/photographer from Poland. Beksinski was known for his sometimes gruesome and imaginative paintings he created during the end of the 20th century.
Unlike our previous artists, Beksinski was born during the mid-20th century, specifically February 24, 1929, in the town of Sanok. In 1947, Beksinski completed grammar school and enrolled in the Faculty of Architecture of the Krakow University of Technology. Completing the university in 1952, the painter worked as a construction site supervisor and later lived in Rzeszów until 1955 where he returned to Krakow with his wife.
Beksinski’s first public works of art, several artistic photos taken and edited were put on display at Warsaw, Gliwice, and Poznan. But major success did not reach him until 1964 when his talent as a painter had been discovered by Janusz Bogucki, who created an exhibition of his work. The event had turned out to become a success, as all of his works were sold.
This inspired Beksinski to continue his paintings of surrealism, the fantasy period as he called, would go on to be his most famous period and produce his most famous works. Following the development of computer image programs in the 1990’s, this became Beksinski’s medium during that period, although some traditional works were produced. The end of the 1990’s were also a tough time for the artist after the death of his wife in 1998 and his son’s suicide the following year.
The artist was murdered on February 21, 2005, just three days before his 76th birthday by the son of his caretaker after refusing a loan to him. Following his death, a museum dedicated to Beksinski was created in his hometown of Sanok, housing many of his works from his fantasy period. Many remember the artist’s charismatic personality and his sense of humor.
But what Beksinski is known for most is the work he created. His work is largely the product of his imagination, and although his paintings had several metaphorical aspects to them, sometimes dealing with religion or war, he was largely uninterested in the meaning of his work and preferred the viewer to find one themselves, this was also why Beksinski never titled his work. Beksinski also claimed many of his paintings were misinterpreted and while many thought his work to be negative or the result of depression, the author claims they were much to the contrary, some even being intended as humorous, although growing up during World War II is believed to have inspired some of paintings.
In retrospect, Beksinski has become one of Poland’s most well-known contemporary artists and has gained acclaim from across the world for his work, enthralling and inspiring all who view his work.
See more of Beksinski’s work here: