Gabriela Jolowicz’s prints bridge the gap between a traditional artform more commonly associated with the medieval world and contemporary design aesthetics, each woodcut presenting a tension between past and present, hyper -reality and banal everyday activity.
The woodcut technique is a slow process that does not fit easily into a world of immediacy, a world of instant digital imagery but in these pictures we are forced to re-appraise our position, to stake value in time, effort and technical and artistic ability. These are extraordinary prints, they mange to bring a naive quality to a complex composition made up of motifs drawn from contemporary society, that are unique to the modern condition.
What we have are scenes from the city, pool halls, bars, clubs and apartments strewn with the ephemera of modern society such as laptops, novels, beer, digital clocks and so on. This use of a traditional medium to depict a contemporary life seen through a distorted prism of existential angst gives these pictures a poignancy and melancholy that is truly deep and profound. Here’s what Jolowicz said to Koikoikoi.com about her process:
The wood actually doesn’t want you to cut into it. It always works against you. It’s just not as easy going as drawing with a pencil, when you have done something wrong, you cannot undo it. Even though it sounds negative, it actually helps me to think about what I am doing. I often do prints in-between the cutting process and reconsider the picture based on the latest print. Therefore, you can never say in the beginning how the picture is going to look in the end. I kind of take many short-cuts and detours. And suddenly I know, it is done. Any more detail would kill the whole thing.