Patryk Różycki
Better forget about it

Polana Institute

September 29–October 8, 2022

We cordially invite you to Patryk Różycki’s exhibition "Better forget about it" – part of this year’s Warsaw Gallery Weekend. The paintings are his very intimate analysis of closeness and relations between family members, especially in the face of death. Images from his memories are interspersed with hypothetical situations that a family might experience. They are set in a very real context, where the social and economic status of the protagonist (artist himself) provokes further twists and turns of this emotional story.

The sincerity and vulnerability with which the artist evokes his difficult memories are striking. Różycki speaks openly about the need for eschewing the stereotypical masculinity that is no longer relevant to most contemporary young men. He unveils his childhood fears and his aversion to commitment, while longing for stable relationships. Exposed emotions dominate over male ambition; attachment to the self-image seems to be gone.

“I see the past as a series of interrelated experiences from a source not known to me. I recall repressed memories, I try to relive situations that I’d forgotten or didn’t even participate in. I go back and act as an eye-witness. I try to feel what I couldn’t feel back then because I wasn’t allowed to express emotions, because I was forced to forget. ‘It would be better to forget, to replace one emotion with another, bad images with good ones’. But I can't. When I want to be free, I torch the house to escape relationships and all that is shared. To destroy the past. Later it all comes back in the trembling of hands that hold the blanket over someone's back, in the helplessness I feel as a grown man.

I'm interested in the real sense of the censored story that gets passed over in silence to keep the pain from becoming real. It's not just my issue – it’s a common issue in my family and in those participating in my life’s events. I haven’t been able to empathize with the community; I lived alone and kept selective memories, like dissected anecdotes, dispensing with unnecessary details. Who I am now is a product of my past. I’m afraid of intimacy, because the intimacy I knew didn’t allow me to feel safe. I’m afraid of loss, I still can't accept it – I’m trembling all over when I think about it. In my paintings I depict scenes from my family life. I turn to them to better understand how I function today: in my relationships with my family, my friends, and my partners. I have selected small fragments of my past in which my heart has anchored, becoming uncertain and trembling. I’d like to understand it, accept it and forget it, to close the past in peace”. [Patryk Różycki]

Exhibition view