Interesting facts about the life and art of Zdzisław Beksiński, one of the greatest Polish artists from decades, underrated in his country, but thankfully loved all over the world. Zdzisław Beksiński was born in Sanok, southern Poland. Zdzisław was best known as a painter but he was also a photographer, illustrator, sculptor and graphic designer.
“What matters is what appears in your soul, not what your eyes see and what you can name”. (Zdzisław Beksiński)
Beksiński had no formal training as an artist. He graduated with a diploma in Architectural Engineering and an M.Sc. in the Technical Sciences.
In 50s he spent a few years working on various construction sites in Krakow and Rzeszow for Autosan bus factory, designing the bodies of buses and minibuses.
Bus SFW-1 – design by Beksinski (oldtimery.com)
His paintings were mainly created using oil paint on hardboard panels which he personally prepared.
He refused to provide titles for any of his drawings or paintings, didn’t organize his exhibitions.
Although Beksiński’s art was often grim, he himself was known to be a pleasant person and had a keen sense of humor.
In 1984 he established a contract with Piotr Dmochowski, a Parisian art dealer who promoted Beksiński’s art for many years.
“Fantastic period”, which lasted up to the mid-1980s is his best-known period, during which he created very disturbing images, showing a surrealistic, post-apocalyptic environment with very detailed scenes of death, decay, landscapes filled with skeletons, deformed figures and deserts.
These paintings were quite detailed, painted with his trademark precision.
At the time, Beksiński claimed, “I wish to paint in such a manner as if I were photographing dreams”.
The late 90s were a very tragic time for Beksiński. His beloved wife, Zofia, died in 1998. A year later, his son Tomasz committed suicide.
Beksiński was murdered in a stabbing attack at his Warsaw apartment in February 2005 by a 19-year-old acquaintance because he refused to lend the teenager money.
Here is the last painting of Zdzisław Beksiński – “Y” – 21.02.2005 – 98 x 98 cm – finished on the day of his death.