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Themes

Success propaganda is soap opera

Most outsider-artists develop practices that are heavily underpinned by the image of the world as represented in the media, particularly television. Some of them openly oppose that image, for instance Stanisław Garbarczuk in his installation “TV Soap Operas as Success Propaganda” and Daniel Stachowski, who explains in an interview that he works to portray the world that surrounds him “without that kind of embellishment, without looking up to some soap operas, the world of television and other crap.” On the other hand, many artists betray a fascination with popular culture. An outstanding example, wooden TV set sculptures created by Konrad Kwasek may be understood as a perverse example of contemporary “realism” in art. Mikołaj Ławniczak uses newspaper cut-outs with images of beautiful and famous women to create hundreds of fetish-objects; the artist always carries some of them with himself. Also Tomasz Machciński’s self-portraits borrow from the imagery of popular culture. The ideal of beauty and lifestyle promoted in the media offers the theme of works by Justyna Mastysiak, an artist who desires to become a “Barbie doll” and have “a baby, a house, a car, happiness, a life like in a romantic soap.” The remote world of social elites functions as a frequent reference point in the work of contemporary outsiders.