Acrylic, Oil, Ink on Canvas
Dariusz Labuzek’s primitive-style paintings are inherently figurative. Yet, their naive imagery is predominantly stylized and has an illustrative quality that is founded on an abstract painterly aesthetic. The juxtaposition of abstraction and figuration, and the fusion of mixed media, gestures, and symbols, make his work compelling. His figures were created as vessels to be filled with textures, colors, and ideas, captivating compositions that conspire to feed our curiosity and imagination.
Feeding a sculptural sensibility – possibly informed by his training as an architect and filmmaker – Labuzek repeats the same motifs in his paintings, yet each painting is utterly different. His starting point is the relationship between painterly concepts such as texture, color, line, and form; this play on ideas gives him space to explore how we see a painting, the depth, and nuance of material, as well as the potential it has to manipulate how we view the picture plane. Some of his figures look like copper or collage-like cutouts, the rest more illustrative in nature.
This freedom of expression, of looking to articulate the emotional and poetic quality of an image through painterly concepts, is a subject that has preoccupied many artists throughout the 20th century, some of whom have laid the foundation for Labuzek’s own creative journey, such as Pablo Picasso, Antonio Tapies, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Agusti Puig, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Artur Nacht-Samborski, Cy Twombly, Zdzisław Beksinski, Jacek Göttel, Richard Diebenkorn, Jackson Pollock as well as Zhou Brothers, Roger Ballen, and Gerhard Richter. Labuzek continues in the tradition of these great artists, as a painter who is in love with his medium, in the possibilities that lie in brush and paint, in the potential that an abstract world of strange humanoid figures can lead us into a world that lightens up our imagination.
Dariusz was born in Poland and studied architecture at the Institute of Technology in Cracow. He immigrated to the United States in 1990 and attended a film and theater program at Humboldt State University in California. In 1992 he moved to Chicago, where he continued painting and developing his unique style of figurative expression. In 2016 he relocated to San Francisco Bay Area. Dariusz has exhibited for over two decades in various exhibitions, including galleries. His work is collected extensively across the world.
My process is about letting myself be carried away without resistance in the direction indicated by the hand of intuitive lines, color, and form. My expression of the environment brings each viewer into an effervescent, playful, and exciting world full of organic forms and shapes. Each piece might be a peculiar exploration of botanical, animal, and human shapes.
Somewhat the combination of illustrative and abstract styles gives my work a dreamy quality that transports the imagination into a whole other world that is waiting to be discovered. Working primarily with acrylic, I emphasize imaginative organic shapes composed with unique dexterity. These qualities, along with the creative contrast of muted and vibrant colors, make my work resonate emotionally.