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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » November 18, 2009
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Originality of Outsider Art
November 18, 2009 By M.H.    
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Uplifting and original works by Justyna Matysiak, an artist with learning disabilities, are on display as part of an outsider art (art brut) exhibition in the southern city of Katowice.

Matysiak was born in Poznań, western Poland, in 1979. She first came to fame when she won the Grand Prix Insita, a prestigious naive and outsider art competition, in 2007. Insita, which means "innate" or "untrained" in Latin, is an exhibition that has been held in the Slovak capital of Bratislava since 1966. Matysiak is the only Polish artist who has been able to sway the international jury and win it.

Her work draws the viewer in with its tasteful coloring and fascinating shapes. The drawings are done in transparent ink using fine line marker pens. The artist painstakingly pores through illustrated books and albums looking for interesting themes to work on. She then takes themes derived from nature, makes a contour drawing and very carefully fills them in with tiny lines to create an impression of delicate embroidery. The animals, birds, buildings and figures drawn this way hang in space isolated and lacking any fixed abode. This lightness contrasts with the massive and seemingly heavy shapes.

The world of Matysiak draws the viewer in and lightens their mood. It is hardly surprising, then, that Roger Cardinal, one of the world's foremost outsider art theoreticians, has described her as an original artist with extraordinary creative potential.

Until Jan. 17; Muzeum ¦l±skie
3. W. Korfantego Ave., Katowice
For more information: www.museumslaskie.pl
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