Top Hats and Knives: Review of Jarek Kubicki

Top Hats and Knives: Review of Jarek Kubicki


Nicholas Collins reviews the phenomenal Jarek Kubicki.

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Copyright Jaroslaw Kubicki, All Rights Reserved.

Review of Jarek Kubicki

A downside of being fairly technologically savvy is that it often takes the magic out of things. Where others are taken in by the oddness of a particular picture found somewhere in the bowels of the internet, I’m most often looking for stray pixels that prove to me the image was Photoshopped, and I’ve seen quite a few shops in my time. It is rare in this day and age, when looking at art, for me not to just assume that it is been done digitally, which takes quite a bit of the magic out of the art. Because just as an art scholar in the Louvre spends more time analyzing brush strokes than he does enjoying the art, and a food critic tends to spend more time swirling his tongue around in his mouth trying to separate out the individual flavors that should just be a god damn cookie, I’m not looking at a pretty picture. I’m looking at brush sizes and gauging opacity scalers. If you have not already been inducted into our fold, dear reader, do not be taken in by our apparent elitism, and seemingly endless fountain of knowledge! No, stay away! for the burden of knowledge is a cold and dreary life, darkened by a lack of appreciation for almost everything.

I say almost everything because, every so often, there is an artist that produces something so raw and pure, that my inner critic is silenced, and I am once again six years old and at a magic show, enthralled by the disappearing bird. (I’d like to take this moment for thanking the Prestige for ruining that trick for me… Christopher Nolan you are a jerk and I hate you! Poor little birdy…) Yes, once or twice a year I see something that brings the light back into my dreary critique-filled life of analyzation. Something that allows me to see the whole picture, and then ask myself, how the fuck did he do that? Jarek Kubicki is exactly this sort of artist.

Apparently what he is doing is called photo manipulation. I don’t want to call it that. I suppose that in the rawest sense of the form, there are photos, and they are being manipulated, however photo manipulation draws to my mind what I do on a boring Sunday afternoon while using Aperture. I could spend every afternoon for the rest of my life screwing around in Aperture and not create anything like this. Is it digital? Is paint involved? Are miracles? Tell me Jarek! Do not keep your secrets all to yourself!

Of course, this is mostly over-exaggeration (mostly). But it is rare to see such beautiful work on the internet. (Though it seems surprises of this sort happen every day on this site) But my job as a reviewer, on a site where everything is available for you to access for free, is to get you to expend the limited amount of energy necessary to click here and give some of these amazing artists recognition. If you’re feeling especially energetic, you leave a comment on their site. Jarek, while certainly not alone in deserving this recognition, is exactly the sort of person you should honor with your eyes and words. His art is beautiful, seamless, and in some cases NSFW (That’s “not safe for the workplace,” for those of you who don’t know).

Complaints are, as usual, minor, and stem from the fact that Jarek seems to stick to a formula of pretty girl multiplied by disjointed reality plus paint splotches. Fortunately for us, it’s a formula that works, and even if he doesn’t branch out at all, I’d be happy to see more of the same, but I’d also love to see something that deviates from that formula a bit. Also, while the photographs themselves have quite a bit of dimension, the backgrounds, where the majority of the manipulation is to be found, seem more flat. That’s visibly flat, not emotionally flat, which in this case is a very important distinction.

Copyright Nicholas Collins, All Rights Reserved.

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