Tomek Kulka studied painting, but chose to give up painting to work in ceramics. His work takes the form of realistic miniature objects that capture his surroundings, strongly influenced by his native town of Wolbrom. The landscape constructed by the artist is comprised of elements typically unassociated with artistic representation, and include structures such as garages, bus stops, and barracks. The resulting tableau can be understood as a text, which records an urban jungle of towns and villages. Another aspect of Kulka’s work are the characters that populate his landscape. The artist chooses very unrefined subjects – representatives of the so-called ‘lower classes’ staged in brawl scenes, sleep or death, and other intimate rituals. Kulka is clearly attracted by subjects that are found outside of mainstream culture, such as the problem of urban decay and the city’s devastation by youth subculture, drunks, and the homeless. This devastation reflects an additional, underlying problem: racism, hatred, and intolerance towards others, including antisemitism. It is simultaneously both interesting and disturbing, raising a subject often suppressed by the public consciousness of society, utilizing a scale that might remind the viewer of Gulliver’s omniscience as a giant. But, as anthropology teaches, sometimes one can only speak about the most important things in a whisper.
Exhibitions at Propaganda:
Genre Scenes 2012 (z Jakubem Ciezkim)