Jakub Gliński is an interdisciplinary artist working across many different fields:
painting, experimental music, audiovisual arts, performance. These areas often intertwine in
his work and although the artist studied painting, what comes to the fore in his work is the
performative aspect – the significance of the very act of creation, of happening and coming
into being, of destruction and undermining the ostensibly finished work.
His large-scale works have little to do with the classical understanding of painting.
The sloppy iconography which the artist uses makes one think of childish scribbles, clumsy
teenage graffiti or student copybooks covered with doodles. The artist himself admits he is
fascinated by children’s drawings – he often quotes his niece as a source of inspiration – and
tries to paint in a way as if he was never formally trained. Primitive lines transform on his
canvases into dispersed, layered signs resembling city walls chaotically covered with spray
Of particular use to Gliński are building materials such as tarpaulin, plastic sheets,
filler, adhesive, spray paint, and wires accompanied by all sorts of useless waste, fragments
of objects of uncertain origin. It is in them that the artist is searching for the beauty of art – in
the decay, damage, rejection and randomness which they hint at. Both through the act of
creation and the public’s encounter with the works, the artist’s “trash and error” aesthetics is
to result in a kind of derailment, disintegration or – as Gliński calls it – “pure shambles.”
The juxtaposition of dirty aesthetics of everyday life with abstract minimalist
expressionism makes Gliński’s work teem with emotions, inscribed in an intuitive,
subconscious activity which does not result from a predefined topic. The artist admits that
his work is always built subconsciously, and the emergent art becomes a game of intuition1
During the creative process he often intoxicates himself, thus obliterating the significance of
rational and planned action.
The dominant black and grey colours – the colours of the city, waste, chaos,
negligence – become a means of expression in his works. He emphasizes trashy
performativity which imposes itself on various works by either complementing them or
making a point. In a series of performances “I will get home in a coffin,” the tipsy artist rolls about among rubbish and paints. The motif of dressing up in waste or putting on a mask
made of rubbish often recurs in the artist’s works. If the artist comes up with an idea which is
better than the one originally planned and previously announced, he does happen to cancel
the first idea or reschedule it for later. He often destroys his works, emphasizing the role of
destruction as the most important part of the act of creation.