My painting explores the psychology of the individual. My recent painting, has expanded from individual portraits to large scale narratives. I compose environments where characters engage in violent acts while apathetic bystanders witness the macabre scene.

Since childhood, I have faced the struggle between the private drama versus the public persona. I was five years old when my family escaped Poland. Settled in Berlin, the five of us lived in a single room. My domineering grandmother, the family matriarch, was determined to fit in with the affluent Germans and hide our impoverishment. She manipulated her two daughters to climb the social ladder through a series of advantageous and abusive marriages. In order to blend in at a very prestigious private school, I learned to "put on a mask" and hide the embarrassing reality of my home life.

In my paintings, I see myself as a film director composing narratives from unrelated source images to develop an uncanny dramatic scene. I search for my “actors” either in vintage black and white photography or film stills. Inspired by their body language, I invent a story. Its setting is either taken from a 19th century landscape painting or a film still. What attracts me to an image are lurid color temperatures and contrasting lighting scenarios. I aim for a beautiful yet ominous atmosphere, creating a world where characters inflict physical harm onto one another. I intentionally keep facial features and expressions minimal to resist describing an identity. Instead the actors become archetypes and their physical activity an allegory for a psychopathological world. Each painting is a horrid secret where I can choose to lift the curtain.

Julia Medyńska