Given its recent history and current religious demographic, Poland might not seem the obvious place to find a renaissance of occult art. With religious observance at 50-60% and almost 90% of the population belonging to the Catholic church, it seems the most religiously devout country in Europe.
This book contains beautiful and inspired artwork from a number of Polish occult artists, plus a bonus cd of ritual and occult themed music from a variety of polish musicians and bands. The book itself is a large sized hardback, all the better to show off the prints in a decent size. The explanatory text inside has English translation alongside the original Polish. Priced at just $30USD or £18GBP, I consider this book well worth the asking price.
The twenty one contributing artists work in a variety of styles and exhibit a variety of occult influences. The brightly coloured paintings of Erwin Sówka for instance, with their depictions of sensuous gods and goddesses, blending Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Greek and Egyptian imagery contrasts with the black and white nightmarish imagery of Tomasz Bockowski. The brightly coloured, kalideoscopic and lively mandala’s and images of Andrzej Urbanowicz, with their subtle and occasionally obvious sexual themes contrasts with the demonic forms emerging from the Austin Osman Spare inspired automatic drawings of Marcin S. Jaszczyk.
Henryk Waniek offers us images of strange rooms, abstract forms, symbols, dreamlike starscapes and describes his work as records of his ‘thoughts, experiences, intuition and truths’ in which he does ‘not necessarily have to focus strictly on artistic issues’.
From Anna Maria Bauer we see five detailed fragments from larger images, three from Ten Signs of Decalougue, and two from Hermetic Texts. The use of brown and sepia tones predominates to create an aged antique feel against which the bold use of solid red, black and white can stand out and distract the eye from the detail of the background in the former, whereas the latter combines writing with collections of Hermetic and alchemical imagery.
Linas Domarackas presents us with a series of highly erotic but monochrome artworks in muted greys from his Wawasutra cycle. These result from meditations on the archaic roots of young Polish sexuality and their sexual encounters in various nightclubs.
The ink creations of Michał Pisera centre on the image of the eye, or figure the eye as a recurring motif. The most detailed of these remind me a lot of the work of H R Giger.
The black line drawings on a white background of Maciej Nabiałek and their inverse in the white line drawings on a black background of Rafał Kosela both seem psychedelic in form, if not in colour.
Monika Cichocka, who illustrated the Polish edition of Cosmic Meditations by Michael Bertiaux, shares images of Possession, Vévés, Lwa and Tarot.
Musically the CD seems less eclectic, most of the tracks making good meditative ritual trance themes. Nihilista’s South Tower provides the exception in the form of an inspired punk/industrial anthem.
This is a great little video on how you should do just about everything really:
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* Saw a woman pee into the grass in a park. She lifted up her dress, squatted down, and… let it flow. Right in front of me and her sister.
* Hugged the statue of Jimi Hendrix that’s in Capitol Hill:
* Tied strings of purple yarn into the fan at a zine archive.
* Opened up the windows, and blasted some music at said zine archive. One CD was given to me at a dance party, and I found out that, once again, it’s really, really good. Opened up some fun door in me noggin.
* I started a friend’s method of detensing, based on the methods of Dr. Hyatt. The exercises helped me keep a blissful attitude for the day, and I felt more energetic and willing to do a little bit of l’art du déplacement around the city.