I have always felt as an Artist, I have not only the privilege of expression, but also an open door to a world that constantly ignites my imagination – where all things inspire an opportunity for creativity.
My focus with this series was concise. A celebration unfolded of our Humanity and in the uniqueness of us all. It has allowed for a personal and artistic evolution, to explore the concept of beauty itself. Is it in the eyes? Or perhaps the lines that time bestows, scattering them on our skin like roads that we have traveled, the very maps of our lives.
Though I have worked from within traditions of Renaissance portraiture; at a technical level, I also embrace more Contemporary issues such as the construction of identity, the existence and physicality, and the push-pull of power that exists between the viewer and the subject of their vision.
Each figure is rendered in oil paint on wood panels gessoed with many layers of rough brush strokes then sanded by hand leaving a slightly rough surface beneath any application of paint. Thin layers of oils in washes allowed the bare surface to exist in some pieces leaving it intentionally unfinished but complete.
Born in Poland, I immigrated to the US in 1981 and spent my childhood in Connecticut. I am a graduate of the Art Institute of Atlanta with a BA in Design and Multimedia. I pursued my desire to paint ten years ago at the Los Angeles Academy of Fine Art, UCLA and Brentwood Art Center where I was honored to participate in an intensive under the tutelage of artist David Leffel, at the home of Kate & Steven Spielberg. The past four years my art has been included in the celebrity charity auction The Fluffball, created by actor Emmanuel Vaugier.
A Critical Look at Edyta Pachowicz
In her works “When My Light is Afire” (2016) and “Yeah I Know My Truth” (2016) Pachowicz invites the viewer to explore the concept of beauty and identity via the “push-pull” of power that exists between the observer and the observed. The “push-pull” creates a third space in which the observer and the artwork are on an equal footing, two "Others" for whom the concepts of identity and beauty prove to be fluctuating and unstable. Pachowicz wants us to recognize that art has its own generative power which coincides with the viewer’s apprehension of the work.
In “Yeah I Know My Truth”, we see a nude, albino male, but what is his truth? Albinism is a genetic disorder that is characterized by the absence of pigmentation primarily in the skin but also in the hair and eyes. Such absence can be seen as a lack, but Pachowicz limns a figure whose lush lips, pale eyes, bare torso and white afro display beauty, and the title of this work indicates an incredible sense of resoluteness centered on his humanity. Albinos are perceived to be queer, as in strange or odd, but the beautiful albino’s truth might be queerness of another sort, bringing to the fore Pachowicz’ invitation to explore beauty and identity.
In “When My Light Is Afire” Pachowicz has painted a young, black woman who exudes calmness and a quiet confidence that is accentuated by her nudity. Her dark face and black afro seem to shimmer, and Pachowicz’ use of colors that accentuate her skin and hair seem to be harbingers of the unleashing of her flame, which will transform her. The butterfly on her chest reinforces the notion of transformation. The young woman’s afro is what catalyzes her fire and is an homage to Creole women who, during slavery, were required to wear a tignon, a headdress that covered their hair and indicated that theirs was an inferior type of beauty. “When My Light Is Afire” presents a woman in full possession of her agency and recalls the Black Power Movement of the 70s and its chief slogan, “Black is beautiful.”
~Melvin Marshall, Art Historian, Curatorial Consultant, ArtCultureNow.com