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Art is often the window through which we escape ourselves. It is not limited by our failures and inadequacies, not bound by the fears, which define our borders in life. It is a window constructed from the discordant fragments of the self, so that a truer essence of the self might pass through. The creator is always reflected in the glass, distilled in a way that would otherwise be unpermitted. And, in this vein, there are few artists whose work reflects back more poignantly than Stanislav Krawczyk.

There is a nightmarish purity in Stanislav’s drawings. There are no frills, no unnecessary stylistic flourishes, only form and function in service to distress. Each piece is possessed with the same dreadful clarity, unwavering in its intensity. They exist in a place wholly consumed by emotional turmoil and physical pain, and in their dark fanaticism, there is an almost obscene beauty. His work is at once touching and unnerving in its raw vulnerability.

Originally from the Ukraine, Stanislav was born with cerebral palsy and spent many of his early years hospitalized. Though not defined by his condition, its legacy manifests itself clearly in his art. Twisted, desperate forms crawl across the page. Skeletal fetuses drift in a seeming abyss, lost and alone in a featureless void. Tortured faces howl from the shadows, frozen in agony and heart-wrenching despair. There is no hope, only the fleeting release of catharsis.

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On a technical level, Stanislav’s line work is both sparse and essential. He often crafts only the bare minimum of a form, but it is enough to leave a lasting impact in the viewer. There is, after all, more terror to be found in the unknown, the possible, than in actuality. As such, there is a ghostly, transient quality to his work, as though the images are barely restrained on the page. His horrors are delicate, fragile things, existing at the knife’s edge of anxiety and discomfort. They tremble with the nervous energy of a cornered animal.

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