“Udade” African Woman Andrzej Szymczyk
The artist Andrzej Szymczyk about his new sculpture: “I grew up in Poland, one of the most homogenous regions in the world in terms of ethnic diversity. As a child in an all-white society, I never saw a single person with a different look or skin tone. I remember once walking with my mother and holding hands. At one point, as we were about to cross a street, I saw an African man waiting to cross as well. In astonishment and disbelief I got the attention of my mother and pointed at him. She quickly put my finger down and said, “It’s rude to point fingers at people. Don’t stare like that – it’s impolite”. I never thought much about this encounter until I was older and moved to London, a place rich in diversity and home to people of many different backgrounds and cultures. For the first time, I was able to meet and converse with people from all over the world, and begin to learn about what life is like in other cultures. Great good came out of these exchanges and interactions, a process with continues today.
Inspired by getting to know people from different backgrounds and cultures, I decided to create a body of work dedicated to African women. Here, my purpose is not only to convey their dignity, beauty, and sense of presence, but also represents an approach of bridging differences and diversities in a physical rather than cognitive way. I strongly believe that we should be open and embrace one another, no matter who we are or where we come from. Isolating ourselves from others only impoverishes societies in the long run. I advocate for openness among us all and hope this collection also embodies a sense of admiration and appreciation for women and minorities in society today.
My current work represents my personal evolution as a sculptor. My earlier animal and fish sculptures are as relevant today as when i created them, symbolizing my reverence, fascination and dedication to protecting the natural world, while reminding us of its fragility and necessity. I now add to that by focusing on aspects of the human form. Not as a static posed figures, but rather as entry points for contemplation and dialogue on social as well as political issues.”
Szymczyk was born in Krakow in 1988. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow and graduated with a Master’s degree in Fine Arts from the Faculty of Sculpture in 2012. Szymczyk’s sculptures are based on hyperrealism in human and animal forms, which he mixes with varying degrees of expressive interpretation.