Wiesław Dymny. I Am a Wounded Man: Writer, Actor, Painter

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  • Friday, October 25, 2019 - Sunday, March 15, 2020

For Wiesław Dymny (1936–1978) being an artist meant living art in every aspect of his life. Art was his daily bread, so he considered excessive attention to detail superfluous.

On a self-promotion board, this is how –  tongue-in-cheek – he advertised his skills: ‘I can paint everything in any which way; I can write novels with the help of a typewriter, as well as short stories and catchy tunes. I can make sculptures. I can accurately perform all manner of domestic chores, and besides I can do any other job, since I am a quick learner.’ Wiesław Dymny was versatile, smoothly combining the cabaret, theatre, film, music, literature and visual arts. But none of that was enough to soothe his highly-strung personality.

In 1953 he enrolled to study painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, although he did not complete the course. His favourite format was grotesque, satirical drawings – they were wrily critical  comments on the prevailing social mood, social life and  the Polish condition. Dymny was also the author of unusual photographic portraits of his second wife, the actress Anna Dymna. He was a prolific writer: he wrote short stories, poems, songs and film scripts. He had a satirical talent, and was one of the founders of the legendary cabaret Piwnica pod Baranami, which came into existence in 1956, and where he appeared as actor until the end of his life. He also acted in a number of films.

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