Gender is an illusion

On the walls of Nowy Theater are a series of homoerotic self-portraits of Maciej Osika.
The artist, a man, is dressed like a woman. He had impersonated a woman in a show.
A model, in this case, Maciej Osika, uses stereotypes about gender roles and even exaggerates them. He plays the role of la femme fatale from the 1920?s-30?s.
On photos, Osika looks like a movie star and the pictures may even to some degree evoke the image of Marlene Dietrich. He has pale, smooth skin, an astonishing hairstyle and wonderful make-up. The light on his face is so bright that it makes the portraits more sophisticated.

The ?Self-Portraits? collection is a well-known series of Osika ? a young artist born in 1981 in Wroclaw. Osika is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. His photos are a kind of self-creation. In contrast to many photographers, he does not hide behind the camera. Osika?s art may be considered as a form of narcissism in which reality mixes grotesquely intertwines with irony. Osika?s art is all about having trouble finding one?s sexual identity in the modern world. Modern-day life is overwhelmed with gender stereotypes. It is difficult to cope with the pressure that society places on those who are dissimilar.

In Poland, a religious, conservative, heterosexual country, it is especially hard to express differences in sexual preferences. The exhibition raises another question — how much of otherness does each one of us hide deep down — behind closed doors?
Maciej Osika, Self-Portraits (May 7-26)
Nowy Theater, ul. Gazowa 21

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