Wouldn’t it be amazing if we all had a fantasy place that we could just slip into when everything feels a bit too much. A place where you could, just for a while forget about everything in your day to day life, and maybe just see things from a different view point for a while.
Well that is exactly what Jasnikowski presents his viewers in a movement called fantastic realism.
The Polish artist was born in 1976, and started painting in 1991 under the direction of Miroslawa Lickiewicz. Science fiction was the main inspiration at the time, which developed the artists eye towards the fantastical worlds he paints today.
During the 90’s Jasnikowski found the work of Salvidor Dali, along with other surrelist artists, which moved his inspiration from science fiction to surrealism. In 1998, after taking advice from Wojciech Siudmak, Jasnikowski devoted his work to fantasic realism, and he is now is Poland’s leading artist in this genre.
Jasnikowski has said that he feels that this is the most fascinating and least restrictive form of expression, and from looking at his work, you can understand why. Jasnikowski creates amazing landscapes of a steampunk nature, where he has built an alternative reality which is still very much based in our own world.
In Jasnikowski’s reality the lanscapes have been broken up into rocky islands that float, either unassisted or through some form of mechanical, or bygoe age impliment. The world we know is broken up into fragments, which displace it from what we see around us, but perhaps make us look at our own reality through a different lens.
Jasnikowski explains that in this world, it has diverged from our own in a split of time and space, causing a cataclysm, the world we live in, continued down it’s normal path, while his painted world was disrupted. The people in the alternate world very quickly discovered that nothing was the same, meaning they had to develop machinary to help them live in it, as gravity and time meaning that modes of transport and living arrangements have to change.
In this painting we see a floating island with a city build on it. Large chasms have formed beneath the island, as pieces of rock fall from ledges making the landscape tentive and unstable.
Initially I had thought that the hot air balloons were holding the island up, but on closer inspection they are tethered modes of transport, allowing the survivers to move around the new landscape, you can see balloons going too and from the island as it drifts.
The city looks like a a small metropolis, with factories and places of worship and large houses, which are key themes to Jasnikowski’s work. Many other paintings show large gothic cathedrals which have been left on there own, or crumble and evolve in their new home with differing laws of physics.
Another intrinsic theme to Jasnikowski’s work is the modes of transport. Ships float in mid air, large trains travel through bizarre landscapes bicycles absorb their riders making them part human, part machine.
On the Way to the End of the World.
You can see heavy references to surrealist painters from the past in Jasnikowski’s work, yet there is also a clear realism in the way that he paints., which makes this such an interesting genre. This movement paints what initially looks like a reality and then adds magical and mystical elements – this is pictorial escapism.
Jasnikowski’s work makes me think of the works of H.P. lovecraft, which the heavy influence of mechanical or industrial elements combined with the beauty of destruction and recreation.
There really is no hidden meanings to this work, this is a visual experience for the audience that can transport them somewhere else, with a scene that they can make their own stories and realities within.
If you would like to investigate this amazing world that Jasnikowski has created you can see more of it here.
What do you see in Jasnikowski’s work? Why not tell me in the comments? Like this post? Why not share it?