“Beauty is a form of Genius – is higher indeed than Genius, as it needs no explanation. It is one of the great facts of the world, like sunlight, or springtime, or the reflection in the dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon. It cannot be questioned. It has divine right of sovereignty. It makes princes of those who have it.”- Oscar Wilde
Karol Bak is a painter, draftsman and renowned artist based in Poznan, Poland. With his various skills he has fine tuned his capacity to showcase the female form. Such works are upheld in themed cycles such as “The Sailing Ships Cycle”, “The Dialogues Cycle”, “The Cocoons Cycle”, “The Aureoles Cycle”, “The Four Elements Cycle”, “Judith and Salome Cycle”.
Bak exposes his hugely artistic capacity through various mediums such as Copperplate engraving and drawing, paints using oil on canvas, easel painting, wall paintings, applied graphics and interior design.
The ethos behind his extensive works is a woman’s beauty. Each piece serves to highlight the aesthetic beauty that a woman is known for. His paintings draw light to a woman’s physical shape his figures are classically suggestive with its geometric shapes pertinent to what beauty is defined as today but in an ideal world.
Bak’s enchantresses are immerseded in myth and legend. Their portrayal is embelematic of various elements or personifications of malevolence and benevolence. They are captured as a goddess, celestial being or mythical creatures such as Medusa and elements of seduction are harnessed through their almost succubus characteristics.
There is a masterhood upheld in each piece not only against the figures themselves but their surroundings which are adorned with various elaborate headdresses and clothing. Their clothing and shapes seamlessly form a synthesis with their surroundings.
In their own right these female figures represent various facets of the female character. Bak not only tries to capture the intial aesthestism of each creature but the more difficult objective is to reach their spirituality by trying to capture the very essense of their being.
Their nature is further revealed by their bewitching eyes, engaging the viewer to look further into their soul and touching on their world of sorcery, spellbinding the viewer with their beauty and psyche.
Bak’s paintings ultimately serve to reveal to the viewer many paradiagms of beauty, but in the eyes of each viewer:
“The perception of beauty is a moral test.” – Henry David Thoreau