‘A few years ago, I visited the Rijksmuseum where the philosopher, Alain de Botton, and the art historian, John Armstrong, curated the Amsterdam art collection under the slogan ART AS THERAPY’, says Antonina Samecka, the cofounder of Risk. Their ingenious idea was to prove that art can act as a therapist, or rather a self-help book for everyday matters, like money, love, sex, relationships, work, politics. ‘One still life struck me the most, strawberries, and below a post-it with a puzzling statement: I want to get divorced. I think I’ve fallen out of love.’ According to de Botton, to paint a still life the artist has to look at strawberries as if he’s never seen them before. Notice things and nuances that they don’t usually pay attention to. ‘We should have the same attitude to long-term partners, and basically everything we love,’ he explains. ‘Look at it with a fresh perspective. Love is based on appreciating, and when we forget about appreciation love ends.’ ‘This sentence inspired us in creating the fall-winter collection,’ Samecka says. Instead of festiveness, we chose everyday life – vegetables that we eat in Poland in the fall and winter. We wanted to show that we often lack attentiveness to appreciate the beauty of ordinary, or even mundane, things. So we ordered a painting from Tomasz Poznysz, and then we turned it into a print.
It took over a month to create the oil painting, reminiscent of breakfast still lifes by Floris van Dyck. In it, you'll find pumpkin, parsley root, cabbage, aubergine, cauliflower, leek, and apples. 'I painted it in line with the technical and technological rules of 16th and 17th-century Dutch painting,' Poznysz explains. We wanted to enrich this vegan still life with some objects, which brought about the idea to use vanitas symbols characteristic of this period – animal skulls, empty goblets, ants. 'The pocket watch is a personal touch. In Dutch still lifes, time measuring devices symbolized the time that passes relentlessly,' the artist says.
In the composition, the artist also included burgherly memorabilia coming mostly from a befriended Polish-Jewish family with a rich historical background – jewelry, tazzas, cutlery, and other mementos. 'I had to create a design that would follow print replicability guidelines and stay within the width of the gores. That's why I proposed that the objects lie on a handmade kilim – a Holbeinesque motif – however, they are seen from above, which is not typical for classical Dutch painters,' says Poznysz.
The finished painting was coated with varnish and then photographed in order to create a digital file that can be transformed into a print on fabric. Our print designer, Paweł Palikot, made sure that the saturation of our print matched the canvas' intensity, and that the composition looked good both on clothes and bodies. Now you can wear a painting. You can choose from two feminine wrap dresses, a soft eco Tencel turtleneck, a slim skirt with pockets and slits extending to the thigh, an oversize cardigan, and a 100x100 silk scarf manufactured by Jedwab Polski Milanówek. Kingdom blue dresses and pieces from double-sided plaid wool complete the collection.
'The pocket watch is a personal touch. In Dutch still lifes, time measuring devices symbolized the time that passes relentlessly.'
The photoshoot took place in a museum, Palace at Otwock
PHOTOGRAPHER: Helena Bromboszcz, PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT: Mateusz Mioduszewski
IN THE PICTURES: Kester, Kasia Danioł, Berenika Chmiel, Klara Kowtun
MUA: Aga Jańczyk, ASSISTANT: Alicja Mórawska
STYLIST: Klara Kowtun
SET DESIGNER: Anna Tyślerowicz, SET DESIGNER ASSISTANT: Michał Ruff
PRODUCER: Katarzyna Świątoniowska, ASSISTANT: Paweł Zasim
GRAPHIC DESIGN OF THE PRINT: Paweł Palikot