“It is very important for me to include, in all of my works a particle of hope, because I believe it’s going to be ‘better’. Even after the greatest tragedies.” - Igor Dobrowolski
Driven by a passion to capture the profound and often tragic nature of human experience, interdisciplinary artist Igor Dobrowolski creates multi-layered visual works that contrast Western consumerism with its devastating effects on the environment and communities in other parts of the world. His often monochromatic, visceral portraits collage fragments of familiar imagery and iconographies from Western cultural and intellectual history, photographs, symbolism and graffiti to create haunting compositions. These confront the viewer with the starkly opposing parallel realities of contemporary society, as well as force us to negotiate our personal positioning within it.
Born in 1987 in Poland, Dobrowolski’s practice is intimately rooted in the visual influences of his childhood environment and hometown of Jelenia Góra. Influenced by the likes of Salvador Dali and M. C Escher, he spent a lot of his childhood making drawings and sketches based on art books he found at home, which initially awoke his interest in pursuing a career in the visual arts. As he grew older and became more exposed to the harsher realities of life in other parts of the world, his sense of purpose crystalised further, wanting to draw awareness to these issues through his art and make a positive change in the world.
He soon launched an independent billboard campaign focusing on the harmful effects of the fast fashion industry, following the death of over 1000 workers at a factory in Bangladesh that collapsed. A further campaign called Christmas in Yemen (2017) consisted of a series of unsettling yet profound artworks juxtaposing images of consumerism with scenes of poverty and war. Dobrowolski’s signature style often merges various artistic tropes from photomontage, gestural abstraction and graffiti in an intelligent and provocative layering of image and meaning. This is reflected in his well-known work Fragile Dreams (2020), created with oil on canvas, expanding on the radical material and conceptual possibilities of the traditional artistic medium. Other paintings have a more subtle surrealist sensitivity and dreamlike quality, mapping a rich vocabulary of symbolism onto abstracted portraits, such as in the works Dry Your Eyes (2018) and Fragile Mirror (2019).
He has had notable exhibitions internationally, including Poland, Germany and the UK, and his works are included in the collections of celebrities like Nicole Scherzinger, Channing Tatum and Gigi Hadid. In 2019, Dobrowolski also worked with the band 5 Seconds of Summer on a live painting masterclass.
Dobrowolski’s pioneering artistic practice and activism continues to push the boundaries of the art world and fuse a material and visual sensitivity with an uncompromising commitment to drawing attention to injustice and making the world a better place.
Works for sale
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