Anat Ebgi is pleased to announce Forbidden Fruit, a solo exhibition of new ceramics by Polish artist Krzysztof Strzelecki on view at 4859 Fountain Avenue, opening Saturday, April 30, 2022. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles. An opening brunch will take place Saturday, April 30 from 11am – 2pm.
Beginning in the jungle and journeying to the ocean, Forbidden Fruit captures scenes of sexual freedom, erotic temptations and playful roaming men as they explore each other and the paradise around them. Growing up isolated and homosexual in rural Poland, Strzelecki’s series of works called ‘Cruising Fantasies’ emerges from the longing for an erotic and romantic escape. Surfing the web, browsing apps, and his own personal archive of photography, the artist preserves these images of men on his captivating vessels.
Strzelecki’s works encompass a range of influences. Looking to the canon of Western art, he draws upon fantasy of the exotic and projection seen in Rousseau’s wild landscapes and Hockney’s swimming pools. Christian iconography and ancient mythology also appear. Themes of creating and inhabiting his own world continue in the exhibition with a suite of works called ‘Origin of the World.’ These four ring-shaped nearly monochromatic vessels interpret the biblical depiction of the creation story—sea, sky, sand, and jungle—the foundation for his own ‘gay garden of paradise.’
In an array of shapes and colors, occasionally evoking wave forms, Strzelecki’s work explores themes of erotic desire and the relationship between sex and nature. Before they are fired, he paints his scenes onto the vessels with colored slip (thin liquid clay). Next he incises the drawings into the surfaces, intensifying his subjects through defined outlines. These lines extend outward like ripples, eventually bumping into each other—combining and transforming energies. When they are finally fired with a transparent glaze, the pots are transformed into gleaming compositions, tempting the viewer to draw near and peer inside their open mouths.
Krzysztof Strzelecki (b. 1993, Świdnica, Poland) earned his BFA in photography from the University of the Arts London (UAL), Camberwell. He works in a variety of media, including ceramics and photography. Strzelecki recently exhibited his work in the group exhibition It’s Much Louder Than Before, at Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles, CA. His sculpture Olympia (2020), was recently acquired by the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) permanent collection from our presentation at the Dallas Art Fair 2022. Strzelecki lives and works between Poland and London, UK.