Zdzisław Beksiński (1929-2005) was a Polish painter whose fantastic realism period gives us these nightmarish images of a surreal Hellish world. A trained architect, Zdzislaw was never formally trained as an artist. He said that his paintings were often misunderstood as being more grim than intended. They did not, he insisted, hide a deeper meaning. He was so disinterested in interpretations of his work that he refused to offer titles to his creations. This leading figure in modern Polish art met a tragic end. In 1998, his wife died. A year later, he discovered his son’s body after he’d committed suicide. He was murdered in 2005 by the son of his longtime caretaker, who killed the artist because he would not loan him roughly $100.
I find his artistic style fascinating and the subject manner startlingly grim and imaginative. The way he is able to capture the varying textures of flesh and decay is disturbingly beautiful.