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/   Art   /  Afterglow  /   Artist statement

“Through my garden the Satan walked, deadly sad
And turned it into a scary, horrible hermitage…
He walked with morose head laid down on his chest
And buried the blooming fl owers with ash,
Covered the lawns with the blocks of stone he threw
And sowed the craze of dread and the death of terror…
Unti l, frightened with his work, [as if] burdened with lead
He lay down in this stone wilderness
To smother the despairs sobbing in his chest,
And the cries with the fi ery tears of horrible sorrows… “

Leopold Staff “The Autumn Rain”

Kamila J Gruss
2023 Słupsk

Distortion of life AS

Distortion of life

/   Art   /  Distortion of life  /   Artist statement

“Distorti on of life” is an immersion into the complexity of the human psyche, refl ected in a diptych that portrays various faces of one individual. The boundaries between them blur and overfl ow, creati ng a fl uid duality.

By looking into the depth of the image, we uncover another world. The second face seamlessly penetrates the fi rst, symbolizing the challenges of identi fying a singular, cohesive identi ty. Each face becomes a layer of personality, merging into another with elusive ease.

The compositi onal blends and blurs emphasize the diffi culty of separati ng one face from another, much like individuals with borderline personality disorder may struggle to maintain a clear identi ty. “Distorti on of life” invites immersion in the invisible boundary between the external and internal worlds, where one face can transform into another, and duality becomes an inevitable reality.

Kamila J Gruss
28/11/2020 Słupsk

Freedom is an illusion AS

Freedom is an illusion

/   Art   /  Freedom is an illusion  /   Artist statement

“Once, I received a Matryoshka doll as a gift . It was beauti ful, wooden, and hand-painted. Additi onally, this doll was like an onion, with several layers! Inside one doll, another one was hidden. And so on, from the largest to the smallest, from the smallest to the largest. However, despite its charm, I quickly grew bored of this toy. I couldn’t dress it, hug it, or create new dolls because the parts of one didn’t fi t into another. The doll ended up in the corner. Looking at this frame, it is impossible to resist the impression that what we see is not everything we should see. The fi sh suff ocates, the model suff ocates, the arti st suff ocates… We all suff ocate… Or perhaps, it’s the awareness that our superiority over this fi sh is utopian? An imaginary belief that we have more rights, that more is possible for us, that our brain is smarter, our glass house bigger… We move from the aquarium to the terrarium, from the terrarium to the enclosure… From one box to another, what does it matt er if it’s pretti er when it’s sti ll just a damn box! And freedom died for the fi rst ti me when, ironically, people began to fi ght for it. The second ti me, we buried freedom when, for our own safety, we handed over the reins of our lives to beings in uniforms of all kinds. We are like Matryoshka dolls; we ourselves do not know what lies within us. Day by day, we fi ll certain patt erns that everyone has absorbed with mother’s milk. We live to live, and we feel so free and happy that, from this joy, once a year, we go on vacati on (for a while). Isn’t it wonderful? To take a pass to escape, even if just for a moment? Is it possible? And the fi sh says bul bul…”- Marta Wróbel

Kamila J Gruss
28/06/2021 Słupsk

Alice AS


/   Art   /  Alice  /   Artist statement

The portrait ti tled ‘ALICE’ pays homage to the unique aestheti cs and sensiti vity of Lolita Łempicka. Drawing inspirati on from her portraits, I created an image that visually references her disti ncti ve works while exploring my own narrati ve. Similar to Łemp icka’s creati ons, ‘ALICE’ invites the viewer into a subtle world of emoti ons and inti macy. By employing similar compositi onal elements and style, I aim to pay tribute to the mastery of the arti st, simultaneously bringing a new dimension and interpretation.
This portrait is an att empt to capture both the delicacy and strength inherent in Łempicka’s work. I endeavored to convey not only the external beauty of the model but also the internal strength that radiates from every gaze. This photograph serves as my arti sti c dialogue with Łempicka’s legacy, a conti nuati on of inspirati on that transcends the boundaries of ti me and space.
‘ALICE’ is not just a portrait; it is a narrati ve about femininity, strength, and beauty that are ti meless and universal.

Kamila J Gruss
Słupsk 25/10/2021

Childhood AS

Childhood 2017-2020

/   Art   /  Childhood 2017-2020  /   Artist statement

The series of photographs captured between 2017 and 2020 is not just a documentary but also a journey through the childhood world of two beloved elves and my own memories. Iembarked on an adventure with the camera, aiming to immortalize the growth of my children,and thus, frames were created that consti tute a blend of reality and imagination.

In these pictures, I strive to capture the magical world of childhood, where reality intertwines with fantasy. It’s a place where creatures from under the bed come to life, and shadows become wonderful playmates. I aspire to touch both the magic and reality that can be both frightening and enchanti ng in a child’s imagination.

My photographs not only document the development of the litt le ones but also transport the viewer into a realm of nostalgia and memories from my own childhood. I want each picture to be not just an image but a narrati ve that connects the past with the present, and imagination with reality.

Kamila J Gruss
10/12/2023 Słupsk

Krasny Ludek AS

Krasny Ludek

/   Art   /  Krasny Ludek  /   Artist statement

“Krasny Ludek” is a surprising portrait where the smiling half of a child’s face contrasts with the bare torso, introducing an element of unease and mystery to the image. The black and white color scheme adds depth and a peculiar beauty to this compositi on.

The division of the face in half serves as a symbol of the duality of human nature, balancing between innocence and mystery. The bare torso may represent the delicacy and vulnerability of childhood. Through a mischievous smile, the photograph directs the viewer’s gaze towards unknown realms of emoti ons and experiences.

The pointed hat, consti tuti ng half of the frame, plays the dual role of a mask and a screen, adding a dramati c element to this arti sti c narrati ve. The hat, simultaneously concealing and revealing, introduces a dynamic contrast, emphasizing not only the mystery but also the essence of this compositi on.

“Krasny Ludek” draws inspirati on from surrealism and arti sti c experiments, echoing the creative twist found in the illustrati ons of Lorenzo Mattotti . This unexpected combinati on of charm and disquiet resembles an inverted fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel. Similar to Matt otti’s ability to transform a classic fable into something unexpected, “Krasny Ludek” disrupts traditi onal expectati ons, introducing an unexpected element of disquiet.

The presence of the Polish School of Theatre and inspirati on from Andrzej Pągowski in the background of this work manifest through a dynamic interplay between theatrical elements and portraiture. The compositi on and expressiveness of “Krasny Ludek” begin t o resemble a moment on a theatrical stage, where grotesque and surreal elements blend with art.

The minimalist frame complements this compositi on perfectly, focusing the viewer’s att ention on the essence of the work. The use of negati ve space accentuates the expression of this photograph, adding depth and highlighti ng the unease hidden behind the smile. This image seeks to transcend the boundaries of a traditi onal portrait, encouraging the viewer to refl ect on the complexity of human nature. “Krasny Ludek” is an arti sti c journey into the depths of emoti ons, where half of the face becomes both a curtain and a gateway to undiscovered realms of human experience.

Kamila J Gruss
Słupsk 25/01/2018

Reach for the peach AS

Reach for the peach

/   Art   /  Reach for the peach  /   Artist statement

In this minimalist frame, we see something more than just two litt le hands reaching for fruit. It’s like a moment of magic, where a child’s innocence intertwines with the desire for eternity. The inspirati on for this photo comes from the Chinese legend of Monkey King, Sun Wukong, who sought to grasp the peach of immortality.

These two ti ny hands, much like the small hands of Sun Wukong, reach for something special. The peach, full of colors and fl avors, becomes a symbol of life, joy, and the beauty found in moments we hold in our hands. The tale of litt le hands and fruits symb olizes our longing for beauty, joy, and the infi nity of life that we grasp in our palms, even if only for a fl eeti ng moment.

This photo is not just a snapshot from my son’s life; it’s a vision that connects our everyday reality with myths and dreams. By grasping with our own hands, we reach for joy, reach for life, believing that these moments of magic are ours to share, much like the embrace of litt le Sun Wukong, yearning for eternity. In the minimalist world of this frame lies a deep convicti on that even the ti niest moments can last forever if we view them with love and att ention.

Kamila J Gruss
Słupsk 05/08/2018

The Moon Girl AS

The Moon Girl

/   Art   /  The Moon Girl  /   Artist statement

In the project “The Moon Girl or the dark side of social media where everybody seems to be happy,” I delve into the shadowy realm of social media, where everyone appears to paint smiles on their faces. The sight of a girl, her face refl ected in round mirro rs, serves as a metaphor for our virtual images on social platf orms. The initi al countenance reveals sadness, but as we drift further from the truth, it becomes increasingly content, perhaps even slightly smiling.

I aim to illustrate how we distort our essence, constructi ng an analogy between the illusions of social media and the dark side of the Moon. We choose apparent radiance, saturati ng ourselves with refl ected light, instead of confronti ng the genuine. As wise ly arti culated by Aleksander Radomski: “In this portrait, I build an analogy between the impercepti ble, shadowed side of the moon and the reality we hide and reject in social media. In return, we opt for apparent brilliance, which is only refl ected light, not the true one, our own.”

It’s unsett ling to ponder how oft en we lead our lives submerged in the expectati ons of others, forgetti ng our true selves. The world would be a more beauti ful place if we invested less in the aff airs of others and focused more on the path dictated by our o wn hearts. “The Moon Girl” is a contemplati on on how frequently we choose illusion over authenti city, blindly following the shimmering allure of social media.

Kamila J Gruss
Słupsk 01/10/2021

Psychodelie AS


/   Art   /  Psychodelia  /   Artist statement

As a litt le girl, I had a night light that my mother and I brought back from a trip to Ukraine. The light, adorned with painted fi sh, would spin around its own axis. So when it was the only source of light in the room, the fi sh would swim across the dark w alls, transforming the bedroom into an ocean. I imagine that if I had taken more pictures, I could have created a series to be displayed on such a lamp. Photography would come to life, and girls would run across the walls of the room.

Picture this: one girl dancing, another entering, pushing her, and both running out of the bathroom. Or perhaps the girl is alone, and everything is happening solely in her mind. She supports herself into the closet, propelling herself forward. Over and over again, in an endless cycle.

Kamila J Gruss
Słupsk 25/10/2021

Daughters of Eve AS

Daughters of Eve

/   Art   /  Daughters of Eve  /   Artist statement

This artwork, at fi rst glance, exudes sensuality, maintaining the inti mate atmosphere of a boudoir. However, as I delve deeper into the details, my att enti on is capti vated by the blue string between my thighs. This unassuming element, instead of accentuating my att racti veness, radically alters the tone, blurring the lines between my sensuality and the raw truth of corporeality.

The string, though subtle, becomes an absolute tool for abruptly stripping me of my sexuality. Transiti oning from the vision of my lush beauty to an element of defiance, I strive to defy the expectati ons of this genre of photography. It’s like the contrasting metallic taste of cherries on a delicate cake, evoking unexpected feelings and prompting refl ecti on.

In a historical context, this painting references the ancient celebration of menstruati on as a gift , a moment that united women in mysterious rites. Unfortunately, the passage of ti me and patriarchal – social structures tainted this primal magic, transforming my natural cycle into a taboo. Today, in European culture, menstruati on remains shrouded in shame, reinforced by adverti sements portraying it as something to be hidden.

This painti ng not only boldly addresses the topic of my corporeality but also encourages refl ecti on on the historical burden and contemporary taboo associated with menstruati on. It is a refi ned work of art that not only captures my gaze but also raises questi ons about our societal beliefs and gender constructi ons.

Kamila J Gruss
01/5/2022 Słupsk