Grzeszykowska’s portraits of those who never existed

In May, 50 photo exhibitions will be held as part of the fifth annual Photomonth in Krakow. The most unique among them is Aneta Grzeszykowska?s ?Portraits.? What distinguishes her exhibition from the others is that the subjects of her portraits never existed. As the visitors enter the apartment, at first they will notice a portrait series of numerous people of various age and sex hanging on the wall.

The photos bear a strange resemblance to the works of Thomas Ruff, the famous German artist known for his photo-portraits. Soon it becomes clear that there?s something ?wrong? with the images. The eye color may not match the hair, or a mouth appears too large compared with the face. It is exhilarating to wonder who all these people are — where they live, work and what are their hobby. To some people, they may look like someone they know.

Grzeszykowska is playing with our perception. Are those images really a creation of her imagination or is she just bluffing?

Grzeszykowska used Photoshop to create the pictures. She created the hairstyle, eye color, form of nose, skin tone, age and style of each and every individual in the photos. As a matter of fact, she constructed a series of artificial personalities.
What Greszykowska did was a kind of mystification. Her art may remind the viewer of the sketches usually made at the police station to depict criminals.

On the other hand, her project undertakes the notion that modern life is subordinate to consumption. Pop culture gives us tones of fake images, which we are forced to see each day. Politicians, models, film stars — they do not look the same in reality as on billboards or magazines. Their image is constantly being transformed to amaze the public with unreal, artificial illusions of beauty. Before Portraits, Greszykowska made the project Album. She prepared a family album which she then stylized into an old one. What is essential is that she removed all of her images. In consequence, viewers could see, for example, a man standing in the sea hugging emptiness or someone kissing the air.
Aneta Grzeszykowska Portraits (May 5-31)Private Apartment, ul. Starowislna 52/1

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