Oskar Dawicki’s latest work depicts a group of men suf­fering the con­sequen­ces of an unk­nown gravitational crisis. This is usually caused by too abrupt an ascent from the depths or too violent a descent from the heaves into the atmosphere. In pop cul­ture, especially in cinema, such faces of men usually accom­pany some heroic deed of theirs, involving a rec­kless dismis­sal of their own lives and emotion in the name of super­human, toxic ideals. Oskar Dawicki is one of the men depic­ted – he too par­takes in this tense and fraught return of men from the abyss of patriar­chy back to earth, to ordinary life.



“Men” joins a number of previous works by the artist in refer­ring to masculinity. For Dawicki has in his works repeatedly done everything that men are not sup­posed to do: he cried, apologised, ack­now­led­ged his weak­nes­ses and short­comings, admit­ted hel­ples­sness, impotence, a sense of meanin­gles­sness and emp­tiness, spoke about emotional and psychological crises, about depres­sion. He testified to giving up in the face of exac­ting stan­dards established by his patriar­chal predeces­sors in the field of art. He talked about, on the one hand, rejec­ting the violent father figure and, on the other hand, lon­ging to create a more tender and empathetic relation­ship with him.



“Men” is another self-​portrait in Dawicki’s oeuvre. This time it is a por­trait of the artist in the con­text of cul­tural gender. It is an allegorical story of an entire entourage with which the artist iden­tifies. That is, a generation of men, mainly over 40, from creative and progres­sive back­grounds, who in their chil­dhood and adolescence were socialised to adopt traditional models of masculinity. Models that they later, influen­ced by the views and attitudes of their part­ners, attemp­ted to reject. “Men” is a por­trait of men living in times of a per­manent crisis of masculinity. Men who, despite the ten­sions and tur­bulence to which they are sub­jec­ted, try to look us, the viewers, straight in the eye, imploring for a moment of atten­tiveness and empathy, for a little bit of warmth.



Łukasz Ronduda

Oskar Dawicki