Self-taught street artist Igor Dobrowolski paints stark photorealistic portraits with emotional conviction.
Born in Jelenia Góra, Poland, Igor Dobrowolski has long drawn from the aesthetics of his childhood hometown for inspiration. Delicately shaded large-scale paintings in monochrome hues are often layered with overlapping body parts or dream-like imagery. We caught up with the artist to find out how he was coping with the current pandemic-stricken world.
Where are you during lockdown?
I am currently in Poland in a small town called Dear Mountain surrounded by nature in the middle of the Karkonosze Mountains.
What are you working on right now (and were any projects of yours interrupted by the lockdown)?
Lockdown stopped my solo exhibition in London but apart from that I'm trying to continue to create as usual.
How are you finding isolation / lockdown?
[At first] due to social isolation and this unprecedented time, I felt lost and worried about the future, I felt as though I was empty inside for a period of time. However, I think working on myself and spending time with my own thoughts without the distractions we are usually bombarded with has been positive. It's been an incredibly uplifting time. So in retrospect, it feels very good. Of course, I'm very grateful for the fact that my family and I have avoided tragedy during this time.
What are you reading and listening to?
A book that I'm currently reading is, "The Price of Inequality" on how today's divided society endangers our future by Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel prize laureate in economics. During this time, I'm listening to more music without lyrics, more electronic music.
Have you taken up any new hobbies?
They're not new hobbies but I'm spending more time caring for myself, doing yoga, exercising, meditating and walking in nature.
What is the first place you want to travel to once this is over?
I think it will be a sea or ocean. I would love to swim in the ocean and walk on the sand. On the other hand, I would love to be in an intense place like London.
If you are feeling stuck, what's your best method for getting motivated again?
I feel that this time is really development time for me. I'm focusing on being more glued together and making changes in my life. Focusing on things that are important and trying to be less and less distracted by things that are not important but absorb my time and energy.
Where are you finding inspiration at the moment?
I know it sounds strange but I just sit in my head a lot, and I concentrate very much on my thoughts. New ideas just flow through my head. When I started my journey with art it was quite a hard and intense process but now it is very natural.
How are you staying in touch with your community or supporting other artists?
When it comes to supporting other artists, especially abroad, I am in constant contact with other artists, we write to each other, talk, we just stick together, although separately.
How does art keep you going during difficult times?
Art's like oxygen. It's essential.