PIOTR KLOSEK a photographer with exceptionally large scope of interest and artistic and professional activity. His professional career started over 30 years ago with still maintained cooperation with Jazz Forum, The European Jazz Magazine. Author of photographs and designs for over 200 jazz and classical music record covers. His pictures may be seen on covers of records of great contemporary composers like Krzysztof Penderecki, Witold Lutosławski, and Krzysztof Meyer. Published in 1999 and multiple awarded album The Crucified of his thrilling photographs of crucifixes from the collection of the Pictures Gallery in Lviv, Ukraine, has been considered an innovative and breakthrough publication.
Since five years he’s been living and working in Krakow, mainly in art and museology related photography. His recent photographs have been published in numerous exhibition catalogues, such as Jerzy Nowosielski’s icons, or Tadeusz Popiel’s and Zgmunt Rozwadowski’s production of Battle of Grunwald diorama. In 2010 two new albums with his photographs were published: Wawel and Pszczyna Castle.
He’s successfully cooperated with worldwide advertising agencies and press publishers.
His works were on display at numerous individual exhibitions, at The International Press and Books Club, SARP Gallery, The Academy of Fine Arts, and PKiN Studio Gallery in Warsaw, at Salon European du Jazz in Paris and in Ingolstadt, Germany, among others.
Artist's photography by Witold Krassowski ©
Symbiosis or individualism. Or perhaps both? The art of photography manifests tolerance, usually uncompromising one. And if dogmas of its faith are wisely obeyed, it becomes an important discovery tool. Piotr Kłosek does not accuse the heroes of its photographs of bad will; he does not try to startle his audiences with aversion to the world. In defiance of fashion he domesticates optimism and aesthetism, and then he praises reason as a signpost to heart. He compiles his collages to save beautiful moments in this crazy world. He shows how peacefully and coolly a photographic space may be provided, a collision-safe space that is the quintessence of pure photographic concept. What makes him take these photographs one after another? What makes people take photos in general? It would be an enormous omission if this had not been tackled in countless philosophical dissertations, but since it has been tackled, it is worth thinking it over again why photography is still so attractive and tempting. Not only in the space of image connected to the bloodstream of commercialism. For Piotr Kłosek photography is particularly important, if only because that, as a perfect tool of trade and catalyser of social relations, it is the main and effective method of development of his own personality and a prolonged course of recognising his own life.
When photographing artists, and jazz musicians in particular, he sincerely yields to their creativity, which is understandable, because music supplements the missing link of a silent image’s message. Also pictures he’s taken for the significant album on Wawel Royal Castle in Cracow refer him straight to the history. He quietly builds up a cognitive base. After a photographic session he does not come back home like a worker from a factory. He never comes back home form work.
Celebrating photography is nothing strange to him. It is not a laboratory assistant’s obsession but free balancing on an artist’s tightrope. Luckily the tightrope is thick and solid enough. And searching for non-existing colours and forms is a natural consequence of longing for the ideal world. This romantic approach is a significant element of tidying up the foreground, on which one is treading.
Piotr started from portraying musicians. He was awfully happy when granted his first photo accreditation at the Jazz Jamboree festival. It was a pass to another dimension, and as it was to turn out, not only in the photographic format. New stylistics, resulting from the frame of picture and the power of music, have set the trajectory and agenda for his whole life. All what was left then was to focus on taking the right picture, finding the appropriate angle and light, as well as the spatial aspect. A dangerous game with jazz music started. This was a real meditation in the chaos that had diverted attention from things irrelevant. In order not to lose the way one has to reconcile with own thoughts and to set criteria in dealing with the world. Meeting Marek Cabanowski, Tomasz Tłuczkiewicz, Sławomir Kulpowicz, and other great jazz enthusiasts and players verified these criteria. Kłosek has become adopted and accepted as part of the scene.
Each self-conscious photographic creation reaches out to a personal and psychological dimension, and, as is the case with the photography that may be labelled contemplative, it requires the photographer to define the frames and their positioning in space. It may be not much, but its relevance is enormous, because taking pictures for obvious reasons involves a risky confrontation with the external world. Watching the reality forces a photographer to establish emotional relations with the object and at the same time to retain cool judgement and assessment thereof. Of course it is not a prerequisite of good photography, but it happens that lacking appropriate dedication with a distance in the background renders reaching to and discovering of the sense of photography impossible. Jazz music is the synthesis of artist’s participation in the creative process. It is also one of a few areas of human activity that is based on permanent search for mysteries and meanings. It is accomplished mainly on the level of sound, but also by way of interaction with fellow musicians, who are also searching, often on their own, for their individual reference to the world. Finally they meet someplace, a place that is not ultimately definite, and from then on they create jointly together. This is obvious; especially that jazz is an improvised music often developed onstage spontaneously throughout a performance from its outset up to the end. So Piotr Kłosek, who started as a jazz photographer, had to get fascinated with this atmosphere sooner or later, and, as most of fans of jazz music, to move on to its side, to the lighter side of the force.
Is therefore a question of the roots of his “improvised photography”, jazz photography, or music photography in general, reasonable and legitimate? His photography is filled with the spirit of jazz. And even if Piotr Kłosek does not photograph musicians or musical themes, one may find in his works this “jazzy luminosity”. These are motifs resulting from his interest in music, but also in the art in its broader meaning. His album The Crucified has become a symbolic log of the path he has so far covered. A very serious reflection on human fate enclosed within simple and tight frames shows human drama and reconcilement with death. These perfect pictures are filled with darkness, but also with a strange light. After a while we can guess the sense of such light. A careful observer will see it in the matter of things and in simple, evocative symbols.
And then might be dreams. Creating his collages Piotr Kłosek once again reaches to a jewel casket with the jazz label on it. One could not deprive oneself of an option to improvise in such an important area. This is an effective method and yet another attempt at repair of this world. One can wonder how to treat photography of dreams, this idyllic land of mysterious objects, the vague destiny of which is discovered again and again. Piotr’s collages are strange, paradoxical, full of details and references to culture, to things common and unusual alike. Universal symbols appear there, making up sets that are obligatory for the artist. Architecture set in a landscape organises and discloses the photographer’s aesthetic preferences. A fish, an eye, some stairs, strange machinery, a women’s body, a clock that measures time at this vanity fair. And our favourite archetype – a saxophone – playing in an expanse. In a paradise. We are discovering next paths. Literature, foction. Braided threads of Das Glasperlenspiel. A mix of emotions and order. We can see permanent search for harmony. Melodies and colours allow following a new idea of composition. Endlessly.