Thursday, March 3, 2011

Jacek Yerka (update 2011)

Jacek Yerka
I wrote about Polish painter Jacek Yerka back in 2006 and again in 2007. A recent visit to his website showed it to be updated with new paintings and worth another visit.

Yerka, who some might label Surrealist, but I think of as a magic realist, primarily creates landscapes — of a sort. They are landscapes in which Yerka has reached down the throat of reality an yanked it inside out, toes to head and back to front.

His playful and fantastic rearrangements of the physical world have the wonderful ability to rearrange our perception of the relationship between objects, the role of ground and sky, land and sea, animate and inanimate, causing that sublime shift that reveals the ordinary as new.

Unlike the early 20th Century Surrealists, whose paintings often pushed out at you, pugilistically inserting their dream state delerium into your conscious space, Yerka’s paintings invite you in, offering intriguing paths into the strange and wonderful.

In addition to Yerka’s primary website, there is a Russian site with larger versions of some of the images. You can also get an overview on the beinArt Surreal Art Collective and on Zuza Fun.

I think The Fantastic Art of Jacek Yerka: A Portfolio of 21 Paintings is out of print, but you can find copies from other sellers on Amazon.

Mind Fields: The Art of Jacek Yerka : The Fiction of Harlan Ellison, matching Yerks’a work with Ellison’s stories, is in print and available.

Yerka starts his pieces with a pencil sketch, develops the color ideas in crayons, sometimes carries them to a more developed state in pastels and works his finished paintings in acrylic, ideal for his sharply delineated and often highly detailed work.

 
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3 thoughts on “Jacek Yerka (update 2011)

  1. Glendon Mellow

    Unlike the early 20th Century Surrealists, whose paintings often pushed out at you, pugilistically inserting their dream state delerium into your conscious space, Yerka’s paintings invite you in, offering intriguing paths into the strange and wonderful.

    Yes: this. So well said, and a wonderful description of why lumping Yerka’s work in too easily with the Surrealists is a mistake.

  2. Sonya Johnson

    Wow – what fantastic work! I find much Surrealistic work to be both fascinating and sometimes disconcerting [for the reason you mention in the 4th paragraph], but this is quite different. “Magical realist” is a good descriptor.

    The last one looks particularly inviting, but they are all beautifully executed.

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