Ryszard Woźniak’s painting follows the creative strategy with which he has been responding to reality consistently since the 1980s. Such works as New Wave Portrait of Yuri Andropov from 1984 are a good example of his critical, mocking, reflective attitude, but taking a passionate, expressive form.
This work from the series Signs of Change is an example of the painter’s vigilant reaction to the world. He uses the symbol of the Women’s Strike (supplemented with an element that may allude to the Statue of Liberty), but placing it in the context of the Russian attack on Ukraine.
The expressive painting of the surface is a physical expression of the reaction to events. The use of obvious colours in this context underlines the need to focus all attention on an event that will determine our future. Woźniak is not afraid of mental shortcuts. They support the message with the power of a symbol that has permanently entered the contemporary visual repertoire, emphasizing the importance of perhaps the most important human need: freedom.
Author: Wojciech Kozłowski