Joanna Zjawinska

  World of Illusion  

World of Illusion

Moulin Rouge

Serigraph on Canvas

Serigraph on Canvas

Image Size 33.25 x 33.25

Image Size 30 x 22 each

Touch of an Angel

Serigraph on Canvas

Image Size 30 x 41.5


World of Illusion

Serene and elegant, a red-haired beauty relaxes on a divan, impeccably coiffured and alluringly clad in black for an evening of cocktails and witty repartee. She surveys the room, amused at the little dramas played out under her inscrutable gaze. Perhaps. She is flawless and rich - the desire of every man, the envy of every woman. Perhaps. She sits alone, lost in thought. Her little drama has been played out to an unappreciative audience, barely registering a ripple in the atmosphere, despite her devastation. The dress was a week's wages misspent, part of a wasted attempt to impress the man who's walked off with another lady. She masks her disillusionment with an imperious facade. The music plays on. Perhaps. Joanna Zjawinska's World of Illusion is a study in perception. How much of what we see is the truth, and how much is the projection of our own beliefs and experiences? The artist has elevated ambiguity to a high art form, filled with emotional tension. Zjawinska incorporates elements of the Expressionist and Impressionist movements - which defined scenes through the filters of feelings - into her unique, representational style. Color is a cornerstone of emotional response, as evidenced in World of Illusion. The rich shades of red charge the image with passion, lust, and anger. The greens and gold's intimate lushness and wealth. The stark contrasts of alabaster flesh with inky black clothing suggest symbolic and emotional juxtapositions: day versus night, positive versus negative, the revealed versus the obscured, truth versus lie, reality versus illusion. Black also suggests a sense of sophistication and conceals flaws. Through color alone, Zjawinska textures the scene with a plethora of narrative possibilities - all of which are valid. The central character of World of illusion is aristocratically beautiful and dressed "to the nines" - Zjawinska's nod to the influence of high fashion on her art. This is clear, but her body language and her relationship to the other two people in the image are uncertain. Her arms are spread wide, in a relaxed, languid gesture that's visually inviting. Yet her legs are crossed, which may signal self-protection, aloofness, or even displeasure. The red-haired beauty's face gives away nothing. The eyebrow might be arched in amusement, in fatigue, or in anger. The pouty lips might be pursed to deliver a kiss or a scathing comment. Published as a serigraph on canvas, and measuring 33.25 inches by 33.25 inches, World of Illusion is available in a standard edition of 150, and a remarked, individually hand-finished edition of 65. The hallmarks of screen prints produced on canvas are durability, textural richness, and expanded display options, since protective glass is unnecessary. Delve into the depths of Joanna Zjawinska's World of illusion, and discover, if you can, what is real and what is make-believe. In a world where appearances can expose or hide the truth, and the drama of life revolves around what we choose to let others see and hear and feel, who's to say which is which? @) Copyright Fingerhut Group Publishers, Inc. 1999


Moulin Rouge

The Bal du Moulin Rouge, birthplace of the risqué can can, was born in the autumn of 1889, in the Montmartre section of Paris. The building was dubbed 11 the rendezvous du high 1ife, catering to the neighborhood's artists and performers, the rich who sought adventure, and the curious who sought excitement. It stands, more than a century old, on the Boulevarde de Clichy, still an epicenter of glitter and glamour and the high theater of life. Immortalized by Toulouse-Lautrec; in the late 1800s, it now serves as the inspiration for Joanna Zjawinska's diptych, entitled simply Moulin Rouge. Amidst the swirl of smoke, shadow, and color, Zjawinska offers two studies: "Lola" and "Lulu and Lili." Lola sits, contemplative, at a table littered with half-empty glasses and discarded masks. Her ornate headdress and form-fitting outfit suggest that she might be a performer, resting for a moment between shows. Is she waiting for someone, or is she merely biding time until her next highkicking dance? Her dreamy face and slightly weary expression are candid and open, underscored by an aura of vulnerability. Conversely, Lulu and Lili are strong-willed women - confident, wild, exotic. Are they friends? Sisters? Who knows? Out for an evening of pleasure, they dress to attract attention. The antithesis of vulnerability, - they challenge the world - probably with a glass of champagne, a song, and a throaty laugh. Joanna Zjawinska set the scenes for this diptych by contrasting coolness with warmth, the real with the imagined, substance with style. Mere washes of color - cool greens, smudges of black, pale gold's define the backgrounds of both works. The images are essentially impressionistic in nature, for they are hints, rather than statements, of place. In both works, the details are in the foreground, describing the women who are emotionally and visually at the center of each scene. The expanses of black - clothes and accessories - sharply focus attention on the lithe, sinewy female forms. Hair, cheeks, and lips are rendered in rich and potent reds. These elements of fire and spice warm the alabaster beauty of each woman. In Moulin Rouge, Zjawinska exalts her fascination with the exotic, blending the glamour of a fabled site with the mysteries of three beautiful women. Moulin Rouge, is published as a set of serigraphs on canvas, with each image measuring 30" x 22". The regular edition is limited to 150, and the deluxe edition, with each graphic hand-finished by the artist, is limited to 50. Collector demand for hand-finished re marques is phenomenal, since each image is an original graphic. Graphics on canvas are superior to works on paper due to durability and textural detail. In addition, they afford a greater range of display and framing options, since protective glass is not needed. Visit the fabulous "Red Windmill" of Montmartre, and step into a world of romance, of secret rendezvous, of showgirls and artists and beautiful enigmas.


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