The shelves in Jerzy Moscicki’s humble studio overflow with masses of beautiful fabrics, as well as antique glassware, bowls, vases, teapots and other treasures that the artist uses for his pastel still life paintings. He often sets these shimmering silks, embroidered fabrics, sumptuous fruits and decorative objects against stark backgrounds to create dramatic arrangements that take on a theatrical quality.
Moscicki’s pastels start with a vision. Almost every piece he paints originates from memories of his village house in Poland. His fondness for the Golden Age of the Dutch still life and the impeccable perfection of 18th-century painting also contribute, as does his understanding of the effects of light, which he learned in his work with the marionette stage.
The search to find the right pieces of treasure or memorabilia amid his crammed studio shelves is always a fun process. “The choice and composition of objects are very intuitive,” Moscicki says. To begin, he arranges a collection of objects on a raised platform and then experiments with the lighting to find a situation that best reflects his concept. And, because he’s also considering color and shape, fabrics have always played a big role in his compositions. “They’re used as a garnish to the surface, bringing the sweetness of color to the painting,” he says.