Jakub Rozalski

Różalski grew up in the Polish countryside of his paintings. A fan of 19th-century painters like Chełmoński and Gierymski, the 34-year-old artist often gives a classic flavour to his works, even though nowadays he creates most of them using a graphic tablet and only occasionally uses oil and acrylic paints. His aesthetics often contrast with his subjects: for instance, Kościuszko Squadron depicts two shepherds in traditional outfits watching giant mechs marching in the distance. This painting is part of a series entitled 1920+, which presents an alternative history of early 20th century Europe and is full of such juxtapositions. The series was inspired by the Polish-Soviet war that occurred in 1919-1921, which the painter considers a conflict of great importance to world history. Like many others, he believes that, had Poland not stopped the march of the Bolsheviks back then, the whole European continent might have become communist. But why the mechs? As a youngster Różalski loved the Star Wars films, which he watched on VHS tapes. The Empire Strikes Back scene made a particularly lasting impression on him - a battle fought with giant robots. On top of his passion for history, Różalski is interested in sci-fi and fantasy as well. The 1920+ series is therefore a combination of his favourite things.