Central Saint Martins Fine Art Graduate Jan Manski will be apart of STUFF which will open on Nov 1st at Underdog Gallery (see invite). We caught up with Jan to speak about his work, his time at CSM, and what we can expect to see from in the near future.
Who are you?
Jan Manski, Graduated from Fine Art at CSM in 2010. I’ve recently been working in sculpture and film.
Tell us about your background and how you happen to live and work in London.
When I was studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw I happened to meet a girl from London and fell in love with her – that’s how it started. I visited London more and more and I decided to continue my art education here.
Pick your favorite places around the city you go to?
Most of the time I hang out in East London, most of my friends live around Old Street and Bethnal Green so this is my natural neighbourhood.
Your works are so weird, cool, grotesque and perfect… what/who inspires you?
In my mid twenties I had a hunger for adventure and was getting into trouble on all sorts of levels. These sometimes extreme experiences that I witnessed inspired me to realise my potential through creation. Art can be a way of keeping you at a high pitch and creating alternate worlds definitely gives me this kind of everyday intensity. I have my masters like Kubrick and Tarkovski in cinema, Beuys and Louise Bourgeois in sculpture.
How would you describe your work?
I’m fascinated in the grotesque, but when an artist has a defined style he is finished. I believe in experimentation and excitement through contrary ideas. When you fall in love with your art and can really describe it, it’s like death. You have to betray what you did yesterday to look into tomorrow.
We wonder what goes inside your mind…what kind of dreams do you dream?
Well, I do not dream my works if this is your question. I don’t remember my dreams, but when I do its flying most of the time… I see my works in the daytime. And where they come from also remains unknown for me, it just happens and I can’t stop creating more and more.
How and why did you apply to Central St. Martins and what was your journey inside it?
When studying in Poland I found myself limited by very narrow and conservative views on art. I needed a breath of fresh air, I had to meet new people and interact with other artists.
Please tell us about your student life at College; how was it like to be one of the CSM students, what did you think of it then and what do you think of it now?
It was pretty cool, very multicultural – you know parties and fun times. I’ve met great people and had a great time.
What is your most cherished memory? Are there any crazy and fun stories you would like to share? Tell us about your favorite projects you worked on at school.
There are many funny stories…We booked a recording booth at college and I invited voiceover artist to record for my seductive Onania video. The script went like this: it’s unprecedented devotion to your demands proves it to be the most faithful of partners.
It submits to your will without criticism or judgment.
We switch on the speaker outside and her voice spread around the workshops and people were disturbed…
Was CSM education beneficial or not at all? And how did it feel and what did you think of when you graduated with Fine Art Degree in 2010?
I really liked talks with my personal tutor Shahin Afrassiabi. We clicked and he gave me many valuable advices. Similarly meeting with Paul O’Kane as my theory and writing tutor was also beneficial for my work.
CSM is famous for its’ fashion department and you were also inspired by fashion, glossy & vintage magazines and advertising for Onania, your recent solo exhibition, so what is your honest opinion of fashion?
Onania is a narcissistic world consumed by a mysterious plague. It mirrors obsessions of its inhabitants focused on outer beauty. The main idea behind it is that danger comes in the disguise of happiness. The fashion industry sells dreams and illusion is part of it from the very beginning. Glamour has its own secrets, and I know that its second face can be very cruel.
What are you working on now?
Now I’m working on POSSESIA for my solo with BREESE LITTLE at the end of next year. I’m exploring the occult and primal violent instincts, so very different to ONANIA. A snapshot of the project – 3 sculptures – will be shown in February in Manski, Cohen, de Freston at BREESE LITTLE
What are your hopes for the future?
I hope the Onania disease will continue to spread rapidly around the world….