Rafał Olbiński is among the most recognizable surrealist painters, whose works are characterized by abstract, sensual metaphors. The album “Olbiński. Nudes”, containing almost one hundred portraits painted by Olbiński, focuses entirely on presenting the beauty of female body. By means of surreal associations, the artist visualizes typical women’s mysteriousness and etherealness, and at times also cunningness and amorousness. Women in his paintings take extraordinary forms: of columns, a double bass, a tree or a matryoshka doll; they dream, tempt, but most often gaze at something that the viewer cannot see. This beautiful album will be a treat to all enthusiasts of Rafał Olbiński’s paintings.
Rafał Olbiński to jeden z najbardziej rozpoznawalnych współczesnych malarzy surrealistycznych, którego twórczość wyróżniają abstrakcyjne i sensualne metafory. Album „Olbiński. Akty”, który zawiera blisko sto portretów pędzla Olbińskiego, skoncentrowany jest w pełni na wyeksponowaniu piękna kobiecego ciała. Dzięki surrealnym skojarzeniom artysta wizualizuje typowe dla płci pięknej tajemniczość i eteryczność, niekiedy też przebiegłość i skłonność do amorów. Kobiety na jego obrazach przybierają niecodzienne kształty – kolumny, kontrabasu, drzewa lub matrioszki – śnią i kuszą, najczęściej jednak wypatrują czegoś, czego widz nie dostrzega. Ten piękny album przypadnie do gustu wszystkim entuzjastom malarstwa Rafała Olbińskiego.
About the Author
Born in Kielce, Poland in 1943, Rafal Olbiński studied architecture before dedicating himself to painting and design. He graduated from the Architectural Department of Warsaw Politechnical School. In 1982 he immigrated to the US, where he soon established himself as a prominent painter, illustrator and designer. In 1985, he began teaching at the School of Visual Arts in New York. In 2002 his set design debut for the Opera Company of Philadelphia’s performance of Mozart’s Don Giovanni was highly acclaimed by critics in the New York Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer. The New York Times remarks that if you don’t know his name, “Odds are you know his paintings.” In the same year the “Art with Moral Purpose” at the Goethe Institute in Hamburg exhibited paintings and posters by Olbiński. He is well known as an internationally acclaimed designer of opera house posters and for designing the covers of hundreds of magazines, from Time to Newsweek to The New Yorker. Commissioned by Allegro Music, he has completed over 100 album covers for their Opera D’Oro Series. Olbiński was commissioned to create several paintings illustrating articles and essays on moral values, which appeared in seven consecutive issues of the German magazine Stern. This led to a traveling exhibition of these paintings, the first hosted by the wife of the President of Germany, Eva Louise Koeh. In 2008 Olbiński had a one-man exhibition titled “Olbiński – Photokina Expo” for Hewlett Packard (Cologne, Germany). In 2009 he had an important museum exhibition at the Jule Collins Smith Museum entitled “New Dreams of Old Values”. He has completed many large murals for installations in public space in Europe. With a reputation that spans the globe, Olbiński is involved in projects on nearly every continent. In Poland, he completed three public murals that were unveiled in Spring 2007; In Bangkok, he juried the 2006 International Film Festival; In Germany, an exhibition of his work is currently traveling across the country. In 2011 he was chosen to design the curtain for the important new opera house being constructed in Poland.
Olbiński’s lush images are layered with complex psychology. He does not paint the landscape of scientific reality, but rather maps the interiors of the mind. Like Dali and Magritte before him, Olbiński’s work has a poetic resonance – he depicts the mind as a theater of dreams, with new attractions around every corner. “I believe that every artist falls in love with his work,” Olbiński says, “especially when you paint women.” Well known for his luxurious depictions of women, Olbiński’s nudes are both classical and controversial. He explores the mysterious aura of women who, although aloof, beckon to the viewer. A master of technique, he often draws on the works of Goya and Botticelli for inspiration. As in Goya’s time, the female form has the power to incite controversy. Recent disputes erupted over Olbiński’s image of a bare-breasted mermaid, designed for the 2006 Miss World contest in Poland. As a concession to Polish officials, Olbiński painted a scarf across the mermaid’s breast. Poetic humor is a quality rarely found in the fine arts, says Andre Parinuad, President of the International Arts Salon in Paris. Rafal Olbiński has this gift. He wants to show us that our imagination is a magical world, which we are recreating forever. He draws us into a different universe, and forces us to use our eyes to participate in a marvelous world which is the true dimension of dreams. Olbiński works have been featured in international magazines including: Print (New York), Novum (Munich), Graphis (Zurich), Communication World (San Francisco), Idea (Tokyo), Art Magazine in America (New York), Communication Art (Palo Alto), How (Cincinnati), The World & I (Washington, D.C.), Universe des Artes (Paris), Stern Magazine, Germany, and many others.