Portraiture has always been an area of art which has fascinated me immensely. For more than 20 years, it has been repeatedly appearing in my works, returning in a variety of forms, incarnations, and in many cycles. At the beginning there was a cycle of expressive, large format portraits of people who are close to me, who are my friends, which I created during live sessions while studying in the Hague. Practically speaking, portraiture was an important thread in each of my cycles. In the Real Emotions cycle, I painted images of sportsmen inspired primarily by sports press photography. I was fascinated by the sportsmen’s faces captured in ecstatic moments, reminiscent of the expressive, old, sacred paintings. The majority of representations from the cycles Podejrzane, Pets (a play on words, meaning both “sneak-peeked” and “suspicious”), Podejrzane 2, You Never Know, Don’t Expect Too Much, and Reflection show whole bodies in the open nature. Often, the figures are not looking towards the viewer, but just the opposite – they are turning their back to him/her, hiding themselves. This escape from confrontation is also a significant aspect of the portrait – it is my intentional choice. Sometimes, my paintings are almost portraits with a landscape in the background, portraits with staffage. They are not based on typical portrait depictions, which makes them all the more interesting. The surroundings I choose for my models are not accidental, they contribute to the atmosphere of the painting, and provide a significant frame of reference to the figure. 

For years, I have also been painting portraits upon request – mainly for people who knowing my works well, asked me to paint a portrait of themselves or their dear ones. What is above all important for me is to create a good, touching, deep painting, consistent with my vision, my painting concept, rather than just with the subject’s expectations. I believe that only then will custom-made paintings be works of art rather than just pure works of craft. In my portraits, I try to reflect the subject’s features, but my paintings are much more than just copies of photographs.I normally paint portraits on the basis of my own photographs. I find it important to spend an appropriate amount of time with the portrayed individual, to observe him/her, record my observations, and select some interesting takes for a painting. I often take photographs in the open, while walking, when the portrayed individual does not “pose” and feels comfortable. I am always looking for new ways of presenting human subjects in painting.