The other side — religious painting by Mariusz Mikolajek

Any attempt to look at the cultural face of Krakow from the so-called ?other side? would be incomplete without considering the city?s religious dimension, which in recent years has been most strongly related to the person of Pope John Paul II.
That is why exhibitions dealing with religious subjects are especially valuable, as they allow to examine the phenomenon of religiousness without all its kitschy background.
Let us give the floor to Mariusz Mikolajczyk. His art presents neither the pope, nor the saints. It attempts at grasping the essence of the Christian faith, however.
Mariusz Mikolajek, born on February 5, 1958, is associated with Wroclaw?s artistic milieu. Because of the ?rebellious? character of his works, which later on became the trademark of his art, Mikolajek?s paintings were ?interned? from his graduation exhibition and banned from the All-Poland?s Exhibition of Graduation 1984/85. After this incident, ?rebellion? became a determinant feature of his art for many years to come.
The artist is not afraid to enter the public arena ? in 1992, he presented his works at the Wroclaw?s Central Railway Station at the exhibition entitled, ?Look When You Pass ? Look, Everybody Passes.? He also works with young people in schools and rehabilitation centers.
In 2000 and 2001, Mikolajek cooperated with Christos Mandzios, a sculptor from Wroclaw, on their joint project titled ?At the Point of Contact.?  It was a series of exhibitions and quasi-visual events held at various locations in Wroclaw: in schools, a prison, youth addiction treatment center Monar, a railway station, a church?
Mikolajek?s exhibition presented at ?Krypta u Pijarów? is worth seeing because of two reasons ? it incorporates tamed rebellion and art of religious character, which could decorate both churches and Helios cinema muliplex in Wroclaw, for example. Such religious art — open to the public and individually processed, is certainly something valuable. Maybe it is high time we made it clear that the antique shops and shops with devotional items do not have the exclusive rights for objects that could be regarded as religious art?
Mariusz Mikolajek — Painting
?Krypta u Pijarów? Gallery
Pijarska 2

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