Polish artist, Janusz Migacz was born in 1956 in Gdansk and he lived until 1988. Poland’s key port, Gdansk, is known for two things : shipyards and, of course, the rise of the Solidarnosc labour union. It was in this socially and politically exciting city graced with an artistic side that Janusz Migacz worked and studied. Poland is a land of paradoxes where freedom and communism did rub shoulders with a lot of friction. To some degree, Migacz’s work reflects and inherits these national characteristics. All of this artist’s work is based on the confrontation and cohabitation of figuration and abstraction which engage and disengage time and time again. Figuration is expressed by the body (often female) drawn in an academic yet nonetheless expressive fashion. In this expressiveness, deformation and amplification play an important rôle. Some contortions are reminiscent of Michelangelo or Raphaël. Migacz’s work is thus one of both mastery and tradition. The « academicism » in the drawing contrasts with the background which is painted in broad brush strokes that allow for an abstraction just as vigorous as the bodies are expressive.
The twinning of these two trends in one environment gives a unique, original result. In addition, the backgrounds often act as an arena for another confrontation – one of light. The artist lends an effect by dramatizing light through the juxtaposition of brightness and darkness. Overall the result is a work in which expressiveness plays a rôle of capital importance. Movement can be found here in gesture. This symphony of contrasts becomes a theatre of different passions where humans seek out their intimate contradictions.
Migacz’s painting is, above all, intuitive. The artist does not attempt to either intellectualize his subjects or understand them, let alone to know what compels him to paint them. Nevertheless his overall work fits into a category of which only the artist holds the key. For him, painting means confronting himself. He does not seek public approval, although such approval energizes him. Migacz’s driving force is spontaneous – like painting – without reflection or premeditation. He is and lives in a present which, like the direction of his work, seems to collide with the past, yet carries it. Are we not now carrying the rectitude of our future?
Having crossed borders himself, Migacz wishes to see his paintings do the same. The next few years will be decisive in making his work known elsewhere. He would also like to try teaching, which would give him more contact with the public. One day, suddenly, spontaneously, in the style of Migacz’s paintings, these dreams will materialize simply because it is the destiny of those with intuitive genius.