Bartosz Mateńko: Grafitti

“Bartosz Mateńko – (b. 1987, Szczecin). He specialises in documentary photography and reportage. Studying photography at the National Film School in Łódź. Graduate of Polish philology at the University of Szczecin. He is also an adept of culture animator course. Bartosz participated in street photography workshop with Bruce Gilden from Magnum. He experiments with collage, rayograms, video, paintings and fake polaroids” – behance

“Bartosz Mateńki’s photostory Graffiti refers to the best traditions of the Polish school of sociological photography from the 70s. Raw in form, not overstylised, and full of energy and dynamics, the black-and-white photographs tell us about the world of the underground, which most can’t enter, rolling past us, so to speak, . The author explores the mystery of the graffiti-creation process. These colourful images, which in the momentum of everyday life drive us to escape, reflect, contemplate, read pictographic writing. To show us the process of formation of the new world of colour on the edge of the law, the slightly dark and dangerous atmosphere, the author had to gain the trust of the graffiti artists. To be admitted to the secret circle. Jump over fences and overcome barriers as they did. Approach the subject as closely as possible. He succeeded.” –

” I am not a press photographer. I feel more as a narrator, writer, who instead of holding a pen uses his camera. Instead of sketching in a notebook I use Tumblr, instead of writing books I post on my blog, insted of creating volumes of poetry I make artbooks. To better understand the rules of storytelling I studied Polish literature. To learn how to frame the world I studied cinematography. To see all the shades of black and white, I learned painting. However the best lesson was simple observation of life on the streets and stories of people I met by talking to homeless, friends or random people on the subway. I try to discover unreality in reality. I document nuances of the world and show its magic. Oftern it’s something we wouldn’t like to see or our eyesight is too limited to notice. The situations and people I meet fascinate me and I want to share them with others, regardless if it happens in Szczecin, New York or Johannesburg.” – Artist’s Statement

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