Afterbeauty I, 2018
pigment print mounted on dibond, 150 x 107,2 cm

Afterbeauty II, 2018
pigment print mounted on dibond, 150 x 107,2 cm

Afterbeauty III, 2018
pigment print mounted on dibond, 150 x 107,2 cm

Afterbeauty IV, 2018
pigment print mounted on dibond, 150 x 107,2 cm

Afterbeauty V, 2018
pigment print mounted on dibond, 150 x 107,2 cm

Afterbeauty VI, 2018
pigment print mounted on dibond, 150 x 107,2 cm

Afterbeauty VII, 2018
pigment print mounted on dibond, 150 x 107,2 cm

Afterbeauty VIII, 2018
pigment print mounted on dibond, 150 x 107,2 cm

 

 

Afterbeauty

The spatial forms are constructed with used facial masks, waste left after a beautifying process. In order to obtain material for my work I force myself to perform the ritual of placing the mask on my face and I repeat the process until it becomes harmful to my skin.

In this way I want to transform my image into pure form, deprived of mimetic content and gender. The material used is visually separated from its primary context – the female face, and yet it remains a kind of self-portrait. Although I reject my gender through the transition towards abstraction, the primary function of the material employed paradoxically brings out the context of gender in the work. Meanings congeal in the mass which envelops the body.

My goal is to undermine the current beauty canon and the social pressure it entails, as well as the expectations towards the feminine image. The criticism is also aimed at fascination with new beauty treatment methods – they reverberate even in works of art which often exploit the direct relation with the female body, in fact consolidating its position even more.

By moving towards the momentary, ephemeral forms extracted out of the remains of the already used facial masks I ask a question about the nature of beauty. The process results in abstract sculptures which dispose the viewer towards an aesthetic perception and delight.

Sculpted forms abstracted in photographs out of their spatial references do not give the viewer any certitude as to their scale and origin. It is not about deceiving the eye but about the uncertainty of perception which creates semantic constructions. The purposeful play with the viewer builds space for an initial, purely aesthetic reception of the image, and only after some time, when the artist’s gesture is exposed, the work gets overgrown with contemporary contexts.


The "Afterbeauty" series has been implemented under the Grant of the Mayor of the City of Lublin.



Book Afterbeauty was published on the occasion of the exhibition Blush at the Biala Gallery in 2019. The book contains essays written by Iwona Kurz and Zofia Krawiec.