Patryk Różycki
Our son paints our life

Polana Institute
Stanisława Noakowskiego 16/35
December 8, 2023 – January 31, 2024

After 2000, my family moved to a rented house on the outskirts of Koło, and this was the beginning of our financial problems. It was also the time my brothers came of age. They were 20-year-olds who liked to party, as I would in a dozen or so years when I reached their age. There wasn't much to do at night in that small town except sit in one of the few bars or at friends’ homes and drink alcohol. I remember my mother waiting every day for my brothers to come home. She would sit alone in the kitchen while I, my sister and my father were asleep. My father didn't care, perhaps he was focused on his illness at the time, or perhaps he was just powerless or uninterested in the lives of his adult sons. For several years this situation persisted, and the image of my mother waiting for her husband, my father, and then for her sons, stuck in my mind.

At the baptism of my brother's son, in Zawiercie, Silesia, my mother was talking with someone about our family, and at one point she spoke about me, describing what I do, and said, "My son paints our life". I took her words as recognition and acceptance. They inspired me to try to capture my family even more. I wanted to paint the moments when I was not with them when they were alone. To understand them better, to get closer to them at an emotional level. I also wanted to reflect on society, on the complexity of relationships in society, by showing their own troubled lives. For a long time, many problems, such as our poor financial situation and taboos around alcohol in the family and our social origin, were blocking my adult life. In shifting the focus from me and my feelings to my loved ones, their stories helped to verify the state of our reality, and so helped me mature. I symbolically give voice to people whose experiences have been unheard or marginalized. At the same time, I feel I am present there as a son. “I paint our lives because that it’s what’s most important to me.”  - Patryk Różycki

Exhibition view