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Grzegorz Michałek

Born 07.08.1976 in Cieszyn. Anthropologist of culture and sculptor. He spent his childhood in Koniaków, where he binded himself with spiritual and cultural folklore of Carpathians, which is the main inspiration of his works. He finished Cieszyn’s high school of Adam Mickewicz’s, and then graduated in Ethnology at the Silesian University. During this time he traveled to many places – like India, Nepal and Georgia. He gathered his knowledge under the eye of the Norwegian artist and designer Odd-Eirk Helmersen in areas of patination, and various wood painting techniques. Nowadays he lives in Wisla, where he runs workshop of sculpture „JanosikArt” and „Garden of Arts”, where are created many different wooden and stone outdoor sculptures, carved balustrades and author’s art. His works can be found not only in private collections, but also in gardens, parks and other places in Poland and abroad.

„Sculpted forms of Grzegorz Michałek aren’t just objects, they are rather created beings – figurines, characters, but also characteristic totems and fetishes. They are much closer to the animism tradition, ancient dendrolatry rituals, even cults of stone, which gives them an essence, contrary to a soulless modern art style. His favorite motive of face always makes an impression of alive art – especialy when approached from side-face.
Anthropomorphism of form (or teriomorphic effects) goes perfectly well with personification of a figure or even just a personification of a contact with sculpted object. Visual perception is enriched by the physical sensation. The sound that wood ocasionally makes and scent of it makes simple optical distance faint. The presence of a sculpture makes it irresistible to not make a physical contact. 
In Grzegorz Michałek’s creations, references to shamanic rituals are much more important than academic conventions. Artist is rather an spontanic and honest explorer, than calculated craftsman or narcistic creator. His sculptures are being created from honest dialogue with material and memory of forms, not from will to show his mastery in craftsmanship. His sculpting acts are branded with life-giving, phantasmagoric potential; it leads to reincarnation of wood or stone, giving it another shape, or maybe it leads to incarnation Spirit in matter, too”.

Hubert Bilewicz

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