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Four Questions: Dorota Krawczyk-Janisch on Krzysztof Jung

10. April 2019

A Personal Perspective on the Great Polish Artist

Dorota Krawczyk-Janisch, by Krysztof Jung (private)

Who was Krzysztof Jung?
Before all he was a free spirit and an artist, who always tried to stay true to himself. He was a Polish painter, illustrator and performer who, after the exhibtion Ars Homo Erotica in Warsaw 2010 (after his death), was seen as a pioneer in gay art. The homoerotic tendencies found in much of his work was daring and innovative for Poland at the time and yet, at the same time, it remained anchored in a some of the best traditional art forms. To me, his works constructed a symbolic bridge between the artist and his intimate world, as well as between Germany, Poland and other countries which appreciate beauty and respect for fellow human beings.

• Who were some of Jung’s contemporaries? Did he work with other artists?
Some important artistic personalities, with whom Krzysztof Jung was in dialogue were: Grzegorz Kowalski, Wiktor Gutt, Barbara Turkiewicz-Gutt, Daniel Wnuk and others who were a part of the Galerie Repassage circle. The idea that was at play there was to create a dialogue on a non-verbal level. Jung’s „Parisian circle“ was made up of free intellectuals in exile, who Jung met through his author friend Wojciech Karpiński.

• Who was Jung inspired or influenced by?
Jung really admired David Hockney and was greatly inspired by his work. In Paris, Jung met painter Józef Czapski, whose personality and work also had a huge influence on him. Jung also loved the old masters, especially Caravaggio und Pontormo. He got much of his inspiration from literature and nature as well.

• What’s the connection between Jung and Berlin?
He was family to me and would come to visit me quite often in the 1980’s and 90’s. He loved Berlin’s museums, book and music stores, where he would spend hours listening to records. He also had his ways to attract and befriend people from the gay scene.

Dorota Krawczyk-Janisch is from Warsaw and has lived in Berlin since 1981. She studied Applied Linguistics at the University of Warsaw and has worked as a translator, interpretor and professor in Polish and German language. She was close friends with Krzysztof Jung during her university days and their friendship continued for over 20 years until Jung’s death. She is now the manager of Jung’s estate.