Hellish Road, Earthworms, The Nightmare, Strangling, Snake & Tit—we are showing these and other works painted in recent months, weeks and days in an exhibition of three young artists working in the Kraków district of Zabłocie. The “potency” from the title is the name of the small gallery they founded together and have operated for the last couple of years, but also an expression of a ravenous appetite: for unfeigned emotions, for painting every day and grabbing pictures by the throat.
They are linked by the place they studied—the Faculty of Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków—and by the city where they settled after finishing their studies. But what links them first and foremost is a zeal for exploring various painterly means of interpreting reality and their belief that its torturous dark side is decidedly more intriguing.
The paintings of Karolina Jabłońska (born 1991, graduated 2015) allude to the creative freedom of Art Brut, Neo-Expressionism and the confessional art of feminists and female modernists. Intense pink and its fleshy hue bring out the dark eroticism of the works, abounding in scenes of heightened sensitivity, ecstatic violence and disturbing hallucinations. A lyrical subject here, appearing in many of the paintings, is a contemporary young girl with huge brown eyes. Their over-sizing—whether it hides terror or excess curiosity—assumes an almost obsessive character. The sweet sultriness of Karolina’s painting draws energy from the literary threads she traces and from the immediate reaction to an over-controlled and testosterone-drenched reality.