Maja Borowicz

15th Annual ARC Salon (2020-2021)

Maja Borowicz

Poland

My paintings are a story about how a certain important part of human history determined the thoughts and experiences of one person.
I came into the world in a country that was damaged during the Second World War. In a city that was wiped off the face of the earth  and was never to be reborn. As a child, I did not know any family who wasn't affected by tragedy of war. My grandparents experienced a nightmare of violence and death, the loss their loved ones, the loss of assets. Their world had never been consistent, lasting or predictable. They passed this baggage on to future generations in the hope that nothing so horrible would ever happen again. However, successive generations came to live in the communist shackles of the Soviet forces, under governments based on terror. The regime effectively eliminated any development of the individual, limited individuality, freedom of speech, the possibility to leave the country. The world behind the Iron Curtain was hermetic, filled with fear. This reality has left its mark on people's minds, affecting their worldview. Over the years, powerlessness, disagreements and frustration destroyed my parents' generation.
That's when I was born. From my ancestors I inherited tragic experiences, and from fate - chronic illness and talent. The disease destroyed my body from early childhood. I suffered, relying on the limited knowledge of doctors. Escaping into the imagination became a means of protection. Pencil and paper became the tools that made the world bearable.
However, the path to the painting I do now was long and winding. It took me almost 30 years. It started with fighting the system, self-awareness and acceptance of individuality. The bumpy road I traveled led through years of personal struggle for survival. Imagination gave me pictures that contained everything that I was, what I experienced, what I was and am a witness of. All of this is alive and visible in my paintings. The heroes are almost always made up of pieces, they break, burst, shatter, they have mechanical parts, which is an allegory of my personal struggles. They grow out of the memory of past generations, they are an echo of deep emotions.
The world that I show is never consistent, lasting or predictable. It is a world of chaos, where the heroes are struggling with the changing reality, sometimes brushing up against the hopelessness of fate. The paintings that I create tell the story of a certain, real society, the stories of people... My experiences are just one example. After all, there are places in the world surrounded by wars, where only love and hope help people survive.
I include all these complicated feelings, experiences and thoughts in my paintings. Because of the difficult message and demanding content, I enclose them in the realistic shapes of oil painting. My work is a tribute to our experience and sacrifices. Thanks to them, we have a chance to be stronger, more sensitive, we learn how to be better people.

* This statement has been provided directly by the artist in association to their 15th International ARC Salon entries. This content has not been edited for typos or grammatical errors and has not been vetted for accuracy.