signature p. d.: YERKA 22
Signature on reverse on lower loom strip: AKRYL 2022 JACEK YERKA >> NIGHT ON THE PLOT <<.
All my childhood and adulthood I rubbed shoulders with suburban lots full of mysterious plants, ingenious micro-architecture and indispensable cast-iron water tubs. I envied the residents and users of these gardens; behind the cover of shrubs and hedges there was another, mysterious, better life going on. Fate would have it that in the hungry 1980s, we were invited by my mother-in-law, to spend the entire vacation in her apartment in Grudziadz, in an old tenement house. Since I didn't want to give up painting, I escaped from the overcrowded apartment to a suburban allotment garden, where, with a lot of interest from flies, wasps and mosquitoes, I created an improvised atelier. The plot was small, the outdoor easel was small, and I still couldn't fit in the scraps of free, uncultivated space. I felt so claustrophobic there that after a few sessions I returned to the apartment, where I was assigned a spacious corner under the window.
This image, on the other hand, is not my memory, a reminiscence of that place. It dreamed of my wife, Maja - she occasionally shares her most interesting dreams with me and graciously lends the copyright to them - and the most important thing in this dream image of hers was a large, red fox on a deck chair. Without that fox, the image and the dream made no sense according to Majka. And I could compose the rest as I wanted. So, there is a fancy gazebo, where you can sleep on an iron bed on the hottest nights in summer. There is a greenhouse, as I remember, full of cucumbers and tomatoes. The pumpkin-aggressor, as usual, invades and conquers the immediate vicinity. The chickens were already clucking in another, better world, and the bunnies were not yet in God's plans. But the rest is right. And the painter is there to remind everything, tangle it up, stir it up and splash it onto a white, clean, smoothly primed canvas.
Jacek Yerka (Toruń 1952, lives near Toruń) graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń in 1976. He specialized in graphic arts. In the first years after graduation, he exhibited posters, including at the Biennale of Polish Poster in Katowice in 1977 and 1979, international biennials in Lahti and Warsaw, and others. Since 1980 he has devoted himself entirely to painting. Relying on a precise pictorial technique modeled on the old masters (Jan van Eyck, Hieronymus Bosch), but above all on his own boundless imagination, he creates surreal compositions, especially admired by lovers of fantasy in all varieties. He inspired, for example, fantasy author Harlan Ellison to write 30 short stories, which, along with Yerka's paintings, made up the publication titled. "Mind Fields." The same American publishing house "Morpheus International" published the album "The Fantastic Art of Jacek Yerka". In 1995 the artist was awarded the prestigious World Fantasy Award for best artist. He exhibits at home and abroad (in Germany, France, the USA and others), being a respected representative of the fantastic art trend. He collaborated in the production of the American film "Strawberry Fields", where the paintings were to be accompanied by Beatles music.