Pawel Mendrek freelance artist, based in Vienna / Austria
Mendrek describes his most recent work as a specific painting reportage. However, these paintings cannot be considered an account, a documentation of events as understood in a classic photographic or reported manner but more as 'flashes, particular scenes from the lives of seemingly unrelated persons'. These are the painting notes of what the artist has remembered from the places he has visited and the portraits of people he has met, a personal chronicle of events and images. Each painting in the cycle is accompanied by an extensive title. Some have an informational character, they refer to people and places: 'Dormitory in Bucharest', 'Young Writer. Warsaw', 'Son's Holiday Clothes'. Some sound more mysterious and enigmatic, they could be associated with a film or a novel, such as, 'I married an ice-cold man'. Although Paweł Mendrek declares that the title is to render the narrative linked to the painting more authentic and real, we do have the impression sometimes that the titles introduce a certain intriguing ambiguity, they point to some mysterious link in the depiction of the painting itself.
'Sampling', as used in the title of the cycle, can be associated with a quotation, a collage or a technique which has been used for many years by Paweł Mendrek in his work. It is, in fact, an even better indicator of the process of looking: in capturing scenes, remembering them, harking back to situations, associating, and an attempt to extract the essence out of situations. It may seem that a camera would be the best to register this excess of the visible which we experience. Paweł Mendrek, however, continues to paint. As the credo of his art, he quotes the words of Gerhard Richter: 'Seeing naturally does not satisfy us, therefore we are painters'. It may sound paradoxical, but painting, a traditional technique, may convey in a more precise manner the character of contemporary life and capture its identity, pace and iridescence. Painting prompts contemplation; it permits the synthesizing of many scenes and intensifies a 'refreshed' view of the subject.
We cannot speak of Paweł Mendrek's painting style as 'natural', 'pure'. Collage is its essence. Paweł includes drawings into the space of a painting; he adds graphic fragments, sticks on over-macerated paper … / M.Wicherkiewicz / …Read More