Marcin Owczarek (born 1985) studied at the College of Photography in Wroclaw, graduating with an honorable mention for his cycle Brave New World, which presented an idiosyncratic version of a future world.
Owczarek is fascinated with the influence of new technologies on human life, particularly within urban space. Focusing on the issues of mechanization and standardization, he tackles them in an antiutopian style. This is reinforced by Owczarek's interest in shamanism, Gnosticism and alchemy. His work is rooted in his interpretation of the content of the ‘Tibetan Book of the Dead’ as well as his studies in cultural anthropology.
In 2019 Owczarek released his new collection, Anima Mundi.
Anima Mundi, the World Soul, according to several systems of thought [is] an intrinsic connection between all living things on the planet, which relates to our world in much the same way as the soul is connected to the human body. Supernal Wisdom that transcends, orders and vitalizes all of creation.
The concept the the World Soul is universal. Anima Mundi extends across religions, across times, across cultures and gender. She has a feminine feel, but in essence she is androgynous - on the landscape of creation she stands before the separation into divine feminine and masculine, anima and animus. She is whole. She connects heights and depths, the spirit and the flesh. She is a hidden reservoir of the planet’s past and future, which contains images, memories, mythologies - collective wisdom of all.
As desire for life, love and inspiration, she is diffused throughout all nature, including every cell in your body and every atom in the universe.
Currently, Marcin Owczarek lives and works in Belgium
My art has always focused on the condition of our globe and the condition of man. I use photography and collage to create surreal images that are thematically focused on identity, dreams, new technologies, bio-science, the unconscious, morals, social situations, behaviors, habits, rituals, biological changes, depression in urban environments- which have significant impact on human life. To observe. To document. As a result, I create the image of the 21 century and the image of our current society filled with allusions, metaphors, allegories.
Before starting new work, I always do a conceptual sketch which is very deliberate. I never use particular characters accidentally. The universe I create and the reflection I want to transmit must be shaped in perfect way. In case of characters I employ for example animals - as symbols or allegories. In this way they reflect human's virtue or imperfection. In many of my images I use birds since they symbolize the human soul trapped in the mortal body. In my work called 'The Last Drop of Water' I employed elephants. Elephant is a symbol of peace, strength, compassion and wisdom. In Tibet elephant holds the whole cosmos. On my image elephants are burning and they long for water. I think the interpretation is obvious. Other example when I use monuments or buildings, these elements have also historical, metaphorical or symbolic connotations. For instance, the main building in my artwork 'The Keeper of the City Key' is library. If we refer to the symbolic language, we learn that library is defined as the source of mystery, knowledge and might. The library is also very closely related to labyrinth, this is why all these mannequins in my image are forced to lead with labyrinth (of life).
By using various symbols and depth of meaning intentionally, I want my art to be interpreted on many levels. Therefore you can also notice that there are many smaller images in one image I finish. This subtle meaning tells you – you can open as many doors as you want and interpret my collages day after day in different way. Possibilities are endless.
MARCIN OWCZAREK - ARTIST STATEMENT