You will often find contemporary artists, particularly young artists, who become so fascinated with Surrealism, or a particular Surrealist, that they immerse themselves in that artist’s style, as if trying to live in their skin. The results are usually less than inspiring.
Polish artist Jacek Yerka, on the other hand, has swum in the Surrealist oceans, absorbed the influences of Surrealists like Dali and Magritte through his pores, gulped in the turgid waters of Brueghel and Bocsh, bathed in the calm pools of Northern European masters and tuned his sonar to the frequencies of Escher.
To this heady brew he has added his own other-worldly visions and produced a unique synthesis of fantastic art. Yerka borrows tools from those masters, but bends gravity, reverses time and pulls reality out of its own hat in his own unique way.
His bright, sharp-focused acrylics make outside in, up down, and near far. Walls and doors exchange places with trees and sky. Cities float and blow away as they age. Sea and sand change roles, household objects become towns, buildings become land, land becomes animals, animals become mountains and islands. Hidden worlds wait around every corner and magic seeps through every door.
There is a book of Yerka’s work matched to the writing of science fiction author Harlan Ellison, Mind Fields: The Art of Jacek Yerka, the Fiction of Harlan Ellison and a collection, The Fantastic Art of Jacek Yerka.
Yerka is one of those delightful artists that I have a very hard time picking a single image for. It would be difficult to pick any single image and say it was “representative” of his work. I picked this one because I like it, but I like many of his images. Dive in, and swim through Yerka’s sea of imagination for yourself.