1000°C

I embarked on a project that emerged from my longstanding love for films. Over the years, numerous films have inspired my artistic pursuits. However, among them, none has been as paramount as La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc (1928).

Directed by the renowned Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer from the silent movie era, The Passion of Joan of Arc has left an indelible impression on me since I first watched it. I recall being unsure of what to expect since it was my first silent movie experience. Yet, right from the opening frame, the film captivated me, and the acting prowess of Renée Jeanne Falconetti, who portrays Joan, took my breath away. Despite being almost a century old, Falconetti's acting feels contemporary and timeless.

My project, 1000°C, pays homage to this remarkable film and serves as a detailed exploration of human suffering and transcendence. Moreover, it pays tribute to Renée Jeanne Falconetti, who, in my opinion, delivered the most outstanding onscreen acting ever captured on camera.

From my perspective, The Passion of Joan of Arc also touches on themes of feminism, mental health issues, and religion. It portrays a woman fighting for her truth and rights in a world dominated by men and ultimately pays the ultimate price for it. Furthermore, it is plausible that Joan of Arc had schizophrenia, which adds another layer to the film's meaning.

For this project, I utilized 194 screenshots from The Passion of Joan of Arc, all of which feature Falconetti's face. The screenshots capture her journey from the initial interrogations to the heart-wrenching finale where she is burned alive at the stake. I then used these screenshots to create 194 handmade collages in four different sizes. The collage process was organic, with the elements gradually changing in response to Falconetti's condition throughout the film. As the movie progresses toward the end, the collage elements become increasingly somber and bleak.
Released: 2023
Material: Handmade collage





Electric Flesh

Electric Flesh Toys started as a passion project that took shape in early 2021. I'd been trying to turn my collage creations into sculptures for years, and finally, I've made that dream a reality.

The main idea was to create an imaginary family unit—a mom, a dad, and their two kids. Each of these art toys has its own unique look and size. The biggest one is the mother, VENUS, standing tall at 26cm, while the smallest, NEMATODE, measures just 13.5cm. Each figure was hand sculpted, and after that resin copies were made. Since 2021, I've been releasing and selling these art toys exclusively on Instagram in different small batches and various colors. And so far, every single release has quickly sold out. Each release also comes with a one-of-a-kind authenticity certificate and some other exciting merchandise.

Displayed here are the initial releases for each art toy. However, if you want the full experience of exploring the diverse color variations for each launch, I welcome you to jump right into my Instagram page! And if you're excited about upcoming releases, keep an eye on my Instagram for news about ordering. Check it out here.
Released: 2021-2024
Material: Hand sculpted and hand produced limited edition resin  sculptures.

VENUS - Hunter Edition
Size: 26 cm (10.2 inches)
Material: Solid hand-painted resin
Edition size: 5
Articulation: None

NEMATODE - Fable Edition
Size: 13.5 cm (5.3 inches)
Material: Solid hand-painted resin
Edition size: 5
Articulation: None

VESUVIUS - King of Worms Edition
Size: 21 cm (5 inches)
Material: Solid hand-painted resin
Edition size: 6
Articulation: None

SATURN - The Devourer of Children Edition
Size: 14 cm (5.5 inches)
Material: Solid hand-painted resin
Edition size: 4
Articulation: None






The Dragon

Chapter-1: The play "The Dragon" by Evgeny Shvarts has been a significant source of inspiration for this project.

Evgeny Shvarts's play "The Dragon" (in Russian: "Дракон") is a classic work of Russian theatre, known for its mix of political satire and fairy tale elements. The play was first performed in Moscow in 1944, during World War II, and has since become a staple of Russian theatre.

The plot of "The Dragon" revolves around the town of Omsk, which is threatened by a fearsome dragon that demands regular offerings of young women. When a brave soldier named Lancelot arrives in town, he is determined to slay the dragon and save the people of Omsk. However, he soon discovers that the dragon is not quite what it seems, and that the town's rulers may be just as dangerous as the mythical beast.

One of the most striking aspects of "The Dragon" is its use of allegory to comment on the political and social climate of the time. Shvarts was a master of using fairy tale motifs to critique authoritarian regimes and oppressive systems, and "The Dragon" is no exception. Through the character of the dragon, he explores themes of power, manipulation, and corruption, showing how these forces can be just as destructive as any physical threat.

You see, my dear man, I personally crippled them. This way and that, any way I needed. Human souls, my dear man, are very sturdy things. Chop a body in half, and the man will croak. Rip his soul in half, and he’ll just become more obedient. No, no, you won’t find such souls anywhere else, only in my town. Armless souls, legless souls, deaf-and-mute souls, shackled souls, stoolpigeon souls, damned souls. Do you know why the mayor pretends to be crazy? So that people wouldn’t realize he hasn’t got a soul at all. Tattered souls, bought-and-sold souls, dead souls. It’s really too bad they’re invisible.

- Evgeny Shvarts, The Dragon, 1944
Released: 2023
Material: Handmade collage





Facies Dolorosa

In 1934, Dr. Hans Killian, a distinguished anesthesiologist, and surgeon in Germany authored a noteworthy publication entitled Facies Dolorosa: Das schmerzensreiche Antlitz (Faces of pain: The Countenance in Pain), consisting of a collection of photographs of patients. This project, which encompassed medical documentation, aesthetic aspiration, and an ethical intent to rehumanize the patient amidst an era of impersonal medical practices, comprised 64 portraits predominantly of individuals nearing the end of their lives. This undertaking served as a source of inspiration for a similar initiative that I embarked upon.

Upon encountering these portraits, I was struck by the profound impact they had on me. My curiosity regarding the nature of pain, physiology, and our perception and response to death was piqued. The patient's eyes, in particular, revealed an aura of melancholy. Yet, the photographs also conveyed an unusual sense of serenity and tranquility, as though some of the patients had come to terms with their fate. Furthermore, these photographs presented a kind of beauty that is seldom seen or acknowledged in human beings. Above all, they revealed the humanity behind the disease during the most fragile moments of life.


A black and white portrait of a young woman: her round head is propped up on a pillow. The weary face, which is fully turned toward the camera, speaks of profound demoralization. Her overshadowed, strangely commanding eyes draw in the gaze of the onlooker. A thickly swollen throat, a partially exposed chest, and her face fill three-quarters of the image, diagonally. In the indistinct white background, one discerns the shadow of a window through which daylight enters—light from the outside world which this woman, stricken with Hodgkin’s disease, might never have seen again. Another image shows the emaciated head of a middle-aged, unshaven man resting on a cushion. With the head turned slightly away, his gaze passes the viewer, deeply absorbed in an inauspicious distance, a realm of pain, desperation, or perchance, expectation of things to come. This man with inoperable stomach cancer is bound to die. Nothing in the neutral, slightly blurry backdrop of hospital linens and cubicle curtains claims the viewer’s attention; her scrutiny is directed exclusively toward the subjects’ faces

- Elisa Primavera-Lévy, Spring, 2011
Released: 2022
Material: Handmade collage, zBrush 3d scanning






Nine Stages of Decomposition

Kusôzu is a distinctive form of Japanese art that originated in the 13th century and persisted until the late 19th century. The term "kusôzu" literally translates to "painting of the nine stages of a decaying corpse," and the genre typically features sequential depictions of a decaying female cadaver. These works aim to demonstrate the transience of the physical form and the abject nature of the human body, particularly the female form. The visual elements of kusôzu reflect Buddhist meditation practices that focus on the corpse, with the aim of cultivating a sense of aversion to the physical form and the transitory nature of life.

In Buddhism, overcoming sexual desire is seen as a necessary step on the path to enlightenment. Since the female form is viewed as a potent source of desire for men, the meditation on a decaying corpse became a way of discouraging sexual desire and attachment to the physical body. Kusôzu, with their graphic and detailed representations of the stages of decay, was a powerful tool in this regard, reminding viewers of the inevitable decline of the physical form and the fleeting nature of physical beauty.

It is worth noting that some scholars have expressed concerns about the kusôzu's exclusive focus on the female body, seeing it as reflective of misogynistic attitudes in Japanese Buddhist thought. This interpretation argues that the genre served to reinforce gender stereotypes and promote negative views of women in Japanese society. However, others view kusôzu as a subversive and transformative art form that challenged traditional gender roles and norms. Ultimately, the meaning and significance of kusôzu are subject to interpretation and debate.  
Released: 2021
Material: Handmade collage





May

This project is a collaborative effort with photographer Olga Anna Markowska, featuring a storyline that follows two friends in a state of escape. The objective was to capture the characters' inner thoughts through imagery, resulting in a visually compelling narrative. Special appreciation is due to our exceptional models, Alicja and Aleksandra, for their valuable contribution.
Released: 2021
Material: Handmade collage
Collaboration: Olga Anna Markowska




Monsters

This project is a series of handmade collages inspired by the idea of Maternal Imagination. This concept, common in Europe from the 16th to 18th centuries, linked many cases of birth defects to the belief that a mother's thoughts during pregnancy could influence her baby's development, causing congenital disorders. Historical texts show that people thought a pregnant woman startled by a frog might have a baby with webbed fingers or toes, or a frog-like head. Similarly, staring at an image of Christ might result in a baby born with a beard.

During this time, any child born with a disability was often blamed solely on the mother. The theory suggested that women had a greater impact than men on their children's biological traits. This idea might have been a way to address the father's role in the birth of a disabled child.

These collages visually explore Maternal Imagination, highlighting the historical and cultural beliefs about the female body during pregnancy and childbirth in early modern Europe.
Released: 2019-2022
Material: Handmade collage





Laud

The "Tree of Life" collaboration between myself, photographer Jarred Stedman, and makeup artist Chereine Waddel, was featured in Laud #10, a prestigious Australian fashion magazine. Inspired by the alchemical theme of the publication, we sought to explore the symbolism of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, a comprehensive model of reality representing divine emanations, the human soul, and spiritual ascent.

The Tree of Life, with its ten distinct points, each endowed with unique attributes such as color, animal, substance, or flower, provided a blueprint for our creative interpretation. Meticulously selecting each collage element to correspond to the attributes of the corresponding point, we created ten stunning images representing numbers from 1 (Keter) to 10 (Malchut).  
Released: 2018
Material: Handmade collage
Client: Laud Magazine





GOD

This project draws inspiration from the renowned French author George Bataille's seminal work, "Madame Edwarda". The story features a young and alluring prostitute, whose character embodies the surreal and enigmatic nature of the divine.

Madame Edwarda is a novel by French author Georges Bataille, originally published in 1941. The book is a surreal and erotic exploration of the relationship between sex and death, and it follows the narrator's encounter with the enigmatic Madame Edwarda. The story is told from the perspective of the narrator, who becomes obsessed with Madame Edwarda after meeting her in a park. Madame Edwarda is a mysterious figure who seems to embody both eroticism and death, and the narrator is drawn into her world of taboo sexual acts and extreme violence. The novel explores themes of desire, transgression, and the search for meaning in a world that seems to reject all forms of morality.

Bataille's writing in Madame Edwarda is characterized by its raw, visceral style and its explicit depiction of sex and violence. The novel has been praised for its bold exploration of taboo subjects and its uncompromising vision of human sexuality. At the same time, it has also been criticized for its extreme and often disturbing content. Despite its controversial reputation, Madame Edwarda remains a powerful and influential work of avant-garde literature, and it continues to challenge readers to confront their own deepest fears and desires.

I was pulled out of my dazed confusion by an only too human voice. Madame Edwarda’s thin voice, like her slender body, was obscene: ‘I guess what you want is to see the old rag and ruin,’ she said. Hanging on to the tabletop with both hands, I twisted around toward her. She was seated, she held one leg stuck up in the air, to open her crack yet wider she used fingers to draw the folds of skin apart. And so Madame Edwarda’s ‘old rag and ruin’ loured at me, hairy and pink, just as full of life as some loathsome squid. ‘Why,’ I stammered in a subdued tone, ‘why are you doing that?’ ‘You can see for yourself,’ she said, ‘I’m GOD.’ ‘I’m going crazy –’

- Georges Bataille, Madame Edwarda, 1937
Released: 2017
Material: Handmade collage, zBrush 3d





Denial of death

Ernest Becker's book "The Denial of Death" was a significant source of inspiration for this project.

"The Denial of Death" is a seminal work in the field of psychology and philosophy, written by cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker. In this book, Becker explores the fundamental human fear of death and how it influences our thoughts, behaviors, and societies. He argues that the awareness of our own mortality creates existential anxiety and leads to the development of cultural worldviews, which serve as a defense mechanism against this fear. Becker contends that these worldviews provide us with a sense of meaning and purpose, but they also create a paradoxical situation where individuals are simultaneously empowered and limited by their cultural beliefs.

Becker's book had a significant impact on the field of psychology and contributed to the development of terror management theory, which explores how individuals cope with the fear of death. It also influenced various fields such as sociology, anthropology, and philosophy. "The Denial of Death" challenges us to confront our mortality and recognize the ways in which we are influenced by cultural worldviews. It provides a profound insight into the human condition and offers a compelling argument for the importance of creating meaning and purpose in our lives. The book has been widely praised for its clarity, originality, and interdisciplinary approach, and it continues to inspire researchers and thinkers across different fields.

“Man is out of nature and hopelessly in it; he is dual, up in the stars and yet housed in a heart-pumping, breath-gasping body that once belonged to a fish and still carries the gill-marks to prove it. His body is a material fleshy casing that is alien to him in many ways—the strangest and most repugnant way being that it aches and bleeds and will decay and die. Man is literally split in two: he has an awareness of his own splendid uniqueness in that he sticks out of nature with atowering majesty, and yet he goes back into the ground a few feet in order blindly and dumbly to rot and disappear forever.”

- Ernest Becker, The denial of death, 1973
Released: 2016-2017
Material: Handmade collage