Born in Szczebrzeszyn in 1957, he has always been fascinated by the nature of its surroundings, by the woods of the Roztocze and by the nearby meadows and fields. Having grown up on the picturesque Wieprz River, from his early childhood,he has observed its slow degradation. This river and its trees, together with the woods of Szczebrzeszyn neighborhood, became for him the "barometer" of slow, but systematic degradation of the environment. 
    He decided to protest against it, to protest with his paintings. He has been doing it for 16 years now.
Grzegorz Król is a "self made man". His main tutor is the nature itself. He introduces a new style of panting, comprising an individual technique, deep emotions and symbolism.
    All that adds to the uniqueness of Król's paintings. They seem to be three dimensional.
Some people say that his art is full of genius. For others, usually contemporary modernists, Król's painting is a traditional one. However, everyone who stops in front of his paintings wants to have them at home in the most prominent place. Why is it so, you might wonder?

    I was born on 10th August, 1957 in Szczebrzeszyn. I attended the primary and later the high school there. The last stage of my education was a high school for working people where I have passed the final exam and received the graduation certificate. I have never attended any art school and I have never studied art. All of that  I gained by myself and I certainy can be called a "self-made man".
I started painting at age of 22. Being a small boy I thought I would do something extraordinary, something that would satisfy me. I always liked wandering through woods and meadows. I have always liked woodwork. I used to produce lamps and wooden boxes. I sewed trousers, shirts and  jackets. I had money and lots of youthful experiences behind me. I experienced two very serious accidents.
I think all these events have influenced my painting and me personally but the most important factor that has motivted me was, is and still will be the nature. I have always been fascinated by the neighborhood of Szczebrzeszyn. Having grown up in the vicinity of the Wieprz River, I observed its slow degradation. In fact it does not only affect my surroundings but the whole world. I am really concerned with this global problem and I express it through my art. My paintings constitute a silent protest against it. My art conveys two visions but one message: "Let's save save the world from ecological devastation". The main symbols are trees that are proud and dignified, in colorful ensemble of leaves or simply naked, in daylight or in fog. They enchant with the shape of their branches and they reveal their souls. Being mysterious and so beautiful they express the symbol of life and death. The second part of  my paintings consist of catastrophical pictures. How are the trees different here! They are deprived of bark and leaves, covered with fatal dust. Grey stems are calling dramatically, but with a silent shout, to slow down this crazy rush of civilisation that destroys the nature and eventually the man. I paint with oil on canvas , and my paintings seem to be three  dimensional. My style of painting comprise of three elements: the technique, symbolism and vivid emotions. In my paintings I want to maintain the world of beautiful, intact nature.
I have had a few exhibitions in Poland and abroad. They took place in theatres, concert halls and galleries. A great musical background, for example a concert of classical music, usually accompanies them.
I want to add that I often give my paintigs for various charities, especially for disabled children or for organizations that save cultural monuments as well as nature.



New York Agora Galery 2005r.

       Gregory King: Nature Painting as "Silent shout"

       Gregory King is a very special kind of landscape painter, in that rather than being celebrations of nature, his paintings are poignant pleas for its preservation. Growing up in Poland, on the picturesque Wieprz River, near the woods of the Roztocze, King witnessed firsthand how so called "human development" can gradually degrade a beatiful landscape, rendering its trees, meadows, and waterways desolate and forlorn.

        An autodidact with a natural affinity for his subject, he vowed to put his painterly skills to the service of his ecological concerns, evolving a suitably expressive style. Realism takes on a haunting resonance in King's work in his exhibition at Agora Gallery, 415 West Broadway, SoHo, from November 22 through December 13. (There will be a reception for the artist on December 1).

        Perhaps King's closest stylistic ancestor is the great German Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich; for his canvases have a similarly atmospheric quality. However, while Friedrich employed the mystery of nature as a metaphor for the spiritual isolation of humankind, it is the tragedy of nature itself that King conveys so convincingly. He does so by virtue of a style that can often be simultaneously dark and luminous. Indeed, it is through dramatic contrasts in tonal values, apparently achieved through the layering of many translucent oil glazes, that King creates the atmospheric intensity which makes his composition so affecting.

        Invariably present un his paintings is a sense of metamorphosis. We see the de-evolution from vital, rich blooming trees flooded with sunlight to bare, craggy branches, clawing at overcast skies like arthritic hands.

        Through the juxtaposition of such images, king sees his canvases as "calling dramatically, but with a silent shout, to slow down this crazy rush of civilization that destroys nature and eventually the man." And his paintings convey this message in no uncertain terms, with their subtly glowing tonalities and sensitively delineated forms. Like the aforementioned Caspar David Friedrich, King combines meticulous realism with intense subjectivity to archieve an almost unsettling visual poetry.

        Citing nature as his greatest teacher, King observes the play of light and shadow on various surfaces with an nerring eye and gives careful attention to the textural details of overgrown weeds, tree bark, and other natural substances, evoking their tactile actuality in a manner that makes his perennial theme of organic transience all the more powerful. A sense of untimely decay is everywhere in evidence in his compositions, with their ravaged forms and dark shadows contrasted with the brilliant light that offers the only hope of transcendence.

        These contrasts are especially dramatic in the oil on canvas called "No.2", where a pale full moon illuminates the sky between bare, skeletal trees and simple thatched houses, as well as in "No.8," where a single, pitifully scrawny tree seems to rise from a puddle of stagnant water, set against distant montains enveloped in smoggy mist.

        By numbering, rather than titling, his paintings Gregory King wisely avoids editorializing about the wanton destruction of our natural wonders that concerns him so deeply. After all, nothing could make that point more powerfully than the "silent shout" of his art, which speaks eloquently for itself.

Peter Wiley

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