‘Artists Did Try to Come, Willingly’ by Andrzej Świetlik @ contra doc! #7

Grzegorz Ciechowski (1988)

Grzegorz Ciechowski (1988)

Andrzej Świetlik is most associated with the neo-avant-garde group, Łódź Kaliska. Yet, the Artists Did Try to Come, Willingly series presents him as an artist creating portraits for advertising purposes. The series consists of images taken between 1983 and 2002, in the times when photographers had almost complete freedom of creating and portrayed icons of pop-culture were not seasonal celebrities, but artists of flesh and blood; in the times, when photographers didn’t have to choose – art or commerce.

Świetlik’s tiny studio was regularly visited by musicians, actors, set decorators as well as friends and family members. In front of his camera stood Kora Jackowska, Czesław Niemen, Maryla Rodowicz, Grzegorz Ciechowski and others. The meetings were usually more a sort of social gatherings. There was a great freedom of creation – an artistic carte blanche. During some of the sessions, traditional portraits were created, during others – the models were taken to an imaginary and staged world, in which Świetlik humorously improvised referring to the history of art, surrealism or the aesthetics of socialist realism. The characteristic portraits made on monochromatic, modest background could later be seen on the album’s covers, illustrated press and in advertisements…

@ contra doc! #7
online version
printed version
pp. 24-41

Also read an interview with Andrzej Świetlik -> A KIND OF MYSTERY @ cd! #7 (pp. 9-23)