Kuba Janyst: Noise
Janyst Starts from the sound—communication noise and electronic music—an uncommon “fabric” for the visual artist. He implements the sound in the form of images. The intensity of these visual vibrations is so high that it becomes materialized in the form of abstract structures and, at the same time, it allows to deconstruct them.
Painting is an art in which the ambiguity is somehow inscribed. As a piece of art it seems distant from our everyday life, assigned rather to the space of the museum and art gallery, remains untouchable. On the other hand, painting requires our active presence. Without the participation of the viewer it is reduced to a canvas, the work of art becomes an ordinary object. Kuba Janyst’s painting is an invitation to a dialogue between these two spheres – the aesthetics of distance and everyday life. A dialogue which, through the dynamic relationship with the spectator, is paving a way to his/her sensitivity, so that it can surprise it and transform it.
Kuba Janyst’s painting is the practice that tames the accidental character of everyday life. It can also be seen as a kind of harmless contact with an excess or, in the artist's own words, as domesticated chaos. The complexity of this artistic proposal is aptly defined by the title of one of the latest individual exhibitions, namely the Imaginary Landscape (2017). The “imagined landscape” is a contradiction and a mystery. On the one hand, it refers to the external world that is given to us and which we can experience through the observation. On the other hand, it speaks about the inner reality of each of us: the sphere of emotions, feelings and impressions. A certain kind of landscape is also formed by the infosphere that surrounds us today in the real and virtual world: the information noise, the mass of content, images and sounds. In his paintings Janyst, using light, texture, colour, illusion of depth and movement, intertwines these three meanings in a unique sense. This sense constitutes a positive way to “tame” internal noise and external information clamour in front of which we remain defenceless and through which we are overwhelmed.
Due to many years of searching and confronting different aesthetics, Janyst has developed an original way of presenting the actual world. He aims at reflecting its vibrant but overloaded character, its aggressiveness and excess of information. The artist interprets today's world through the prism of data accumulation, information noise and content noise. He captures them in an extremely simple but accurate form. By using the acrylic paint and the edge of scraper he geometricizes and densifies the presented reality. Thanks to that the point of view becomes at the same time a technique, and thus the presented picture turns out to be as important as the creative process itself and the final materiality of the work. In this act resounds a childish joy but also a religious discipline. It also refers in a creative way to the automatization, 3D printing and mechanization. The traditional painting gesture is replaced by an almost artisan poetics that consist of applying subsequent paint fibres, “producing” its bundles and merging them into new matrices of meaning.
For Janyst one of the most important aspects of painting is the space that the artist understands and uses on many levels. First, the architectural space, the landscape and the horizon are a common subject of his works. Next, the space around the paintings: the way they are exposed and the perspective from which they are viewed. Finally, the social space and the space of emotions: the way how the images influence the viewer, how they are used be him and what kind of associations they evoke. Such a broad perspective of looking at a piece of art has led Janyst to an interesting and original solutions and formal procedures. Among them the following should be named: the open concept of the work, which the artist “condenses” with the pass of time; the way he “noises” paintings by adding new lines to the previously painted works, and the creative technique itself. In his work Janyst, in a somehow automatic way but also with a particular rhythm and precision, manoeuvres the edge of scraper and the acrylic paint in order to geometricize and to condense the presented reality.
The very essence of these multicoloured and often large-format images is dynamics. Janyst forms the painting surface in such a way so that he achieves, through the different angles of incidence and reflection of light and diverse intensity and temperature of colours, the illusion of movement, vibration and constant change. The images of the coloured serie can be presented in many ways. Along with the changing arrangement they generate infinitely compositional, colour and meaning variations. The shape, the line and the colour, or more precisely, the colour in movement reached through the geometry, impose on viewer an abundance of evocative associations. It is worth to pay attention to how different emotions we feel with the vertical and horizontal arrangement of “vibrations”, the temperature of certain colours or the distance and angle from which a given image, but also the composition of many images, is observed.
The coloured paintings present selected directions of many ways of usage of this painting technique and artistic perspective on the polymorphic scale of creative possibilities. Within further directions, which are still at the experimental stage, should be named the reduction of the colour (whitening, 2017) and the experimental use of the format. In these artistic journeys, by means of the monochromatic tones and by transgressing the traditional understanding of canvas format, the artist brings to the fore the texture of the painting. It is its roughness, (ir)regularity, density that are confronting the spectator with, so often overlooked in the visual arts, the very physicality of the work. Thanks to that, the canvas and its materiality undertake together with the viewer kind of watching game. They become the subject and the object of the illusory movement and noise of the presented image at the same time.
“Imaginary landscapes”, “rebuses”, “precepts” (Precept, 2018) by Janyst are not an easy artistic proposal. However, it is not the purely aesthetic satisfaction of the viewer the painter is looking for. Far from didacticism or moralizing, he vibrates the presented reality to the extreme point and introduce the recipient into an equally hypnotic trembling. The artist, firmly embedded in architecture and drawing from it his inspirations, thinks through the shape and line, not a coloured stain. And although in the first moment it is the colour that attacks the viewer, after a while the colour gives way to hundreds of individual lines, “tendons” and bundles from which a completely new image of reality emerges.
Through a paradox, which consists in multiplying the noise and materializing it in the form of a picture—that is in the form of abstract, but very definite structure—Janyst leads to its deconstruction. The painter aptly sums up his actions as a kind of experiment in which the viewer is not a passive observer, but a creative initiator of senses derived from the image. The “noise” of the Janyst’s creative proposal introduces us into a state of uncertainty, amazement and quivering. At the same time, however, it equips us with the ability to discharge this tension. Thanks to this it allows us to determine, each and every time in a new way, our perspective on everyday life and its meanings.
Ph.D. in Cultural Studies, Art Curator
Faculty of “Artes Liberales”, University of Warsaw