Małgorzata Bańkowska

Małgorzata Bańkowska

Małgorzata Bańkowska was born in 1976 in Milanówek. Since her birth, she was associated with Brwinów and Podkowa Leśna regions, living on the border of these two picturesque towns. It was here that she started to create as a child, here she also had her first exhibitions under her maiden name.
The wedding in 2006 was a big change in Małgorzata's life. She moved permanently to Warsaw, where she lives and composes her art till this day, she took on her husband’s surname. This was the beginning of an artistic explosion, compounded by the period of pregnancy and the birth of her only son Jacek in 2008.

During this period, Małgorzata's works were dominated by eroticism, fetish interspersed with military motifs, biomechanics and medical discomfiture. It was then that a very large collection of drawings labeled as " The Red Gallery" was created. Works from this period show mainly women. A machine-woman, a beautiful woman with no arms or legs, always very useful and creative. A psychedelic and somewhat disoriented world full of dolls.

Małgorzata is an interdisciplinary artist, however, drawings and paintings are of the most significance in Małgorzata’s creations. Surrealism is the main style of art in which she thrives, often rich in historical, mythical and religious symbolism.

The cross-section of the paintings and drawings and the years in which they were made portrays us the evolution of the style in which the artist proceeds. Evolution is also visible in the topics touched and drawing from other styles, combining them. Here we have a spectrum from minimalist darkness and mysterious monumental figures to a baroque rich in gold and glut, sometimes combined with pop-art elements. It is also a cross-section of emotions and moods that determine the direction of the artist's development.

Małgorzata is an artist who is constantly searching, and simultaneously she does tough, intellectual work. This is where the creative process really begins. She is permanently looking for new inspirations and new topics. This led to an evolution in her work. There is still feminism in her creations. However, the works evolved towards a dystopian surrealism, post-apocalyptic fantasy. Masculine characters, illustrated in very grim versions, began to appear in the paintings. History, power, domination, war, apocalypse - all this is intertwined in Małgorzata's paintings. Pop-art elements have also appeared recently. The format of the painted pictures has also evolved, they are definitely larger than the previous ones.

This surrealism is thoughtful, detailed, but without placing unnecessary symbols that do not contribute anything to the subject. Looking at the artist's works, it seems to us that in this play with logical order everything has its meaning and sense, at the same time giving a wide spectrum for interpretation.

The process begins with one thought, an impulse. The artist then proceeds to create a "sketch of thoughts" in her mind, which turns into dozens of carefully written notes. This sketch in the artist's mind then evolves to become  written notes which later turn into a signpost. Overall, she does not create sketches of her paintings beforehand, she immediately starts with underpainting, and then the most important process in her opinion, i.e. creating the so-called image core and finding the right frame. Good framing and the right composition are at least thirty percent of the final piece.
Later on, she takes the vision from her mind and forms her notes directly on to the canvas. It is a process where the idea continues to evolve, the vision of the image matures while it is being created. Even in a very advanced creative process, when the painting seems ready, the artist is able to make significant changes to achieve a full symbiosis of colors and compositions.
The last and final stage is finishing the painting with a detail which the artist calls the “painting's jewel”. This is a very tedious and time-consuming stage, after which only the signature and the varnish protection are left.

She never paints and does not focus on one piece of an artwork. She creates two or three paintings all together at the same time. The one that she approaches depends on such mundane factors as the mood, the emotions that haunt her, the weather or the music she is listening to.

The artist states that her artwork is a constant journey into her own thoughts and life. It is an inspiring journey. Lush, galloping imagination has long been a gift, an escape from what is distressing and unpleasant.
It is easy for her to lose herself in the creative process and to cut off herself from reality and the pain. Since the age of 22, Małgosia has been suffering from chronic rheumatic disease. The disease became one of the main driving forces behind her work. Such a departure into art is like therapy for her and an escape from the pain. Some of her paintings show the specificity of chronic diseases. The disease complicates the existence and functioning of the body and has a huge impact on our psyche. Małgosia became ravenous to create and produce art. It was quite the killing of pain and discomfort with the creation of art for her.

That is the reason why she doesn't like to talk about her paintings. For her, the secret of the art is important, a conversation with the viewer's imagination through images, because the author conducts a dialogue through art. She believes that this "something" cannot be described or named. If language could be used, there would be no need for art. Everyone must relate to what they see. It is an attempt to capture what is elusive. Creating a different reality, searching for symbolism and indirect content is freedom and independence.

A significant moment in Małgorzata's work is the pandemic period, when in contrast to the prevailing moods and avant-garde to her earlier works, very intense colors, gold and a positive remittance, sometimes even grotesque, appeared in her paintings. A whole series of paintings was created in the style of pop-art, very expressive, painted under the influence of the impulse, without any previous plans, notes or thoughts. Positive emotions in this depressing, ominous period were also a cure for others, the majority of more than 20 artworks were sold during the pandemic.

Currently, the artist has returned to drawing after a long break, but the tools she uses have changed. This time they are nibs and drawing ink.
“Drawing in black ink is a completely new and creative experience for me, the latest tool. First of all, I am looking for a form, a stain and I do not think about the content or details. It is an impulse, a moment, first thoughts. Expression of pure form. " The artist stated.
In a matter of a year, roughly 200 art pieces were generated and written down in 4 notebooks. It was a very fertile period, similar to the year when the "The Red Gallery" was established in 2008.

Małgorzata's works have been sold directly or through galleries for many years. They have found their way to collectors on three different continents, in Asia, Europe and North America. The largest private collection of Małgorzata's works is located in China.
Recent years have finally brought a revival of the Polish art market, which opened up sales opportunities on the domestic market. For a year now, Małgorzata's works have been available at auctions, mainly at the DESA Unicum auction house.

Małgorzata's works could be seen at twenty individual and six collective exhibitions.


Individual exhibitions:

1. "Obiektów" Dom Kultury O.K in Brwinów
2. "Implant" Dom Kultury Świt in Warsaw, 2013
3. VITAL FORUM, Hotel Westin, Warsaw, 2014
4. Zaklęte Rewiry, Wrocław, 2015
5. Soho Factory, Warsaw, 2015
6. „Spare Parts”, Sex Positive Institute, 2016
7. "FORMAT.10", Jaś i Małgosia, Warsaw, 2017
8. "Rabbit Season", Kafka, Warsaw, 2017
9. "FAKTOR.11", Jaś i Małgosia, Warsaw, 2017
10. "FAKTOR.11", Dom Kultury Świt, Warsaw, 2018
11. Malarstwo Małgorzaty Bańkowskiej, Fantasy Fairs, Warsaw, 2018
12. "PROLOG", Znajomi Znajomych, Warsaw 2018
13. Malarstwo Małgorzaty Bańkowskiej, Nowa Hala EXPO, Łódź, 2018
14. La Lucy, Warszawa, 2019
15. Dom Kultury Świt, Warsaw, 2020
16. "Sui Generis", Galeria IMPULS, Podkowa Leśna, 2021
17. "MONO|STEREO", Jaś i Małgosia, Warsaw, 2022
18. "Gama", Hotel Mercure, Warsaw, 2022
19. "Totalnie w Rebelii", Rebelia, Konstancin-Jeziorna, 2023
20. "XX", Good Time, Łódź, 2023

Collective exhibitions:

1. "Anioły", House of the Society of Friends of the city Brwinów
2. Collective Painting Exhibition, Dom Kultury CKiO Podkowa Leśna
3. Collective Painting Exhibition at Erotrends Festival, Warsaw, 2014
4. "Body Work", Austrian Cultural Forum, Warsaw, 2014
5. "Real 5", "Antresola" Gallery, Koszalin Museum - Department of Contemporary Art, 2019
6. "Ewolucja podejścia do seksualności człowieka", Rotacyjny Dom Kultury Jazdów, Warszawa, 2021