Katarzyna Gajewska born in Warsaw, Poland in 1978, graduated from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts as a Master of Fine Arts in March 2005 and was awarded a Ministry of Culture Scholarship. The recipient of numerous residencies at Cill Rialaig, Co Kerry, her solo and group shows around the country are always very successful. The fact that she uses her hands gives the paintings an amazingly powerful primitive feel. Gajewska's much sought after work is the focus of national media acclaim.
Katarzyna describes her painting process as something between her dreams and documentation. She states "My art is situated in the middle – not in the realistic and not in the abstract, in popular meaning. I am looking for human simplicity and complexity in the same way. I am trying to catch the casual feelings, naked and defenseless in their realism, and then with understanding and patience I start to build portraits.
"My portraits are like multilayered cocoons, profoundly intimate, sexual or innocent. Psychological topography; still glances, crucial in their expression are uncovered in layers of my paint. Bold, rich and dramatic faces are like language; pulsing and inspiring. My portraits are my form of communication. For me no subject is sacred. The role of provocative feelings, persuasion, as well as the human impulse to beautify compels my works of art.
"I don't use any tools besides my hands – to be closer. I could say that my art is a first hand emotion – and that's why I am painting only with my hands. It allows me to make close ups much deeper than they really are. I love using extreme zooming in – in life and in my paintings.
"My inspirations are deeply rooted in myself. I'm trying to search for inspiration every day: To reach for the deep feelings hidden below the surface of appearances, to pull them out from behind the window pane. It is a permanent record of fleeting sensations. This release from naturalism is a real struggle between the forces of creation and destruction.
"Heavily applying the paint, I am playing with beauty and the expanse of dreams." Katarzyna Gajewska exhibits regularly in Joan Clancy Gallery, Mullinahorna, Ring, Co Waterford.