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Mirosław Maszlanko

The materials, the techniques used and the artistic declarations are directly associated with Maszlanko’s life, his background, education and the places where he once lived. The artist’s studio is housed in a barn, on the farm where he grew up. Close by, he collects grasses and wood and grows willow to make wicker. He externalities the person and the creator. All this has invited almost archaic conditions of creation: there is nature with its abundance, there is the human with his encounter into completely non-utilitarian art-an idealistic manifesto.

"Tomography of a tree" 2014 (wicker) Land art Festival Zwierzyniec, Poland
Text Katarzyna Krzykawska
All images Courtesy by the artist

The beautiful thing about these works is that they feature no elements of artificiality or coercion. Regardless of whether they are found amongst nature or incorporated into interiors, they give the impression of always being there, like natural entities.

Authenticity is the first notion that comes to mind when I think of Mirosław Maszlanko’s art. And this concept is it not restricted to the coherence of his artistic path spanning almost thirty years and his fidelity to natural materials and manual techniques. Nor is it linked to precise art programmes or planned artistic strategies. In a Hasidic tale, Rebbe Zusya, when asked about “being himself”, replied that after his death, no one would ask him why he was not Moses, but they would ask him why he was not Zusya. So, Maszlanko is Maszlanko both as a person and as an artist. This authenticity is derived from the amalgamation of art seem to become particles of existence, just like breath is.

His sculptures talk about a form that is “sensed”. This could be one of the keywords used to describe Maszlanko’s artworks. On the whole, this concept refers to the balancing of directions, tensions and minimal loads to expose the harmony, purpose and relevance to the expression. It is something that is to be sensed instead of being learned.
Maszlanko has the ability to weigh up his creations down to a single gram. He strives for this perfect harmony of aligning the shape with the surrounding environment incredibly consciously and tirelessly. What else would prompt this man suffering from a fear of heights to place his trembling foot on the next rung of the ladder only to add a few more blades of grass and ultimately close the desired shape? He is helped in this endeavour by the organic nature of the materials their lightness (if these are not pine slats used in “Opus Reticulatum” from 2016), and a technique consisting primarily of the touch of the human hand ( combining grass with beeswax in “Written on Water”, “Pareidolia”, “Illuminations”, or interlacing wicker with wire in the “Tomogrphy of a Tree”).

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