Rita Kaczmarska

author biographical note degree piece

Professor Ż’s Collection Catalogue

Evil will always be fascinating. My art book, which testifies to this statement, has been designed as a multi-level play with the reader, founded in guessing which props belong to which villain. The range of villains – owners of the props – include a variety of media, from classical literature, theatre and film, to pop culture creations, comic books and video games. I made objects of my own design cutting out murderously detailed stencils, spraying them with paint, and drawing on them with black pencil and white pastel, in an attempt to get the climate characteristic of old daguerreotypes. I reached my goal as a consequence of a long study of the history of the selected items. At the same time I immersed more and more into the world of fictional villains, which I was always passionate about.

A series of three comic books based on dramas by Staś Witkiewicz: Cockroaches, Menagerie, Princess Magdalena, or Intrusive Prince

I searched for inspiration for my comics in universes full of absurd. My choice fell on Witkacy – but I do not mean the Witkacy known to all: my Witkacy is eight years old. His three earliest dramas are depicted in three books different in terms of technique and mood; developing them was for me a kind of ”return” because at the age of eight I myself drew tons of comics. The motto “return”, however, conflicts with guiding themes I noticed in seemingly childish dramas: there is deformation of structured reality, but also a parody of our times, where horror and grotesque go together hand in hand, and not only there are no rigors, whether regarding gender, family or social roles, but they are ridiculed without the slightest embarrassment. The fight against stereotypical thinking extrapolates also to the medium of comic: as this genre gained a label of inferior art, a naive entertainment for kids, whose lovers are usually given a smirk of pity. So both the choice of comic and sketchiness or nonsense of Witkacy’s – “charming madman’s” – plays will be annoying. The question, however, is to what extent it remains a worthless madness, and can we see it as truth disguised as absurd.

(born 1991)
Studies at the Faculty of Graphic Arts of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (2010–2016). Rector’s scholarship for the best students of the Academy in the years 2011/12 and 2013/14, scholarship from the President of the Council of Ministers (2010). Works in illustration, book design, animation, printmaking and video game design. Participant of group exhibitions: The Living Book, Salon Akademii Gallery, Warsaw (2016), Virtuální bienale, Prague (2011). 1st prize in the competition Illustration Startup (2014), 1st prize at the 15th national painting plein air in Jeżów (2009). Author of the board game Project: city to be issued by Dwie Siostry publishing house.