Polish Artist Paints Nightmares And They're Both Beautiful And Terrifying

by Elana

Zdzisław Beksiński was a Polish born painter, photographer, and sculptor. In his early adult life he studied architecture and for a brief time was a construction site supervisor where he would often use leftover and discarded material to create sculptures. Unhappy with his career, he went on to focus on some seriously iconic and unique artwork, primarily his paintings known for their "dystopian realism."

Before his tragic murder in 2005, Beksiński was no stranger to death and misfortune. His wife, Zofia, died in 1998; a year later, on Christmas Eve, his son Tomasz committed suicide. Despite his grim artwork and his unfortunate life events, Beksiński was described as "a pleasant person who took enjoyment from conversation and had a keen sense of humor." Today, while we look at his intriguing art, we are left to interpret at will, because Beksiński himself was not fond of offering answers to what his work "meant."

Broken without you.

The pain of losing the love of your life must be unbearable.

Broken without you.

Inescapable

Morbid and horrifying.

Inescapable

Through the glass.

Is there always another way? Another path?

Through the glass.

Weary Traveller

Judgment is all around us.

Weary Traveller

Apocalypse

A dark desert or a lonely post-apocalyptic scene?

Apocalypse

Approach

If you could walk up to a wall of death, would you?

Approach

Creeping.

What is this burden on the artist's soul?

Creeping.

A graveyard?

Or a hill with countless portals to Hell?

A graveyard?

Don't walk alone at night.

Dark, mysterious figures loom in so much of his artwork.

Don't walk alone at night.

Something divine.

Or evil, we're not sure. Maybe a little bit of both.

Something divine.

A pale rider.

Death, loss, longing. Is this piece of artwork a symbol from his life experiences? We will never know.

A pale rider.

Fire and creatures.

If this wasn't a polish painting, you might think it was an art board from an upcoming horror flick or video game. It's dark and eerie.

Fire and creatures.

Painful truth

We find ourselves wondering if this art is symbolic of Beksiński finding his son's corpse? He reportedly never came to terms with the death/suicide.

Painful truth

Blind

A guide, a voice, watching over?

Blind

Is this a mental photograph of a nightmare?

Or a fleeting thought of death and repair?

Is this a mental photograph of a nightmare?

The dead approach.

Demons of your nightmares crowd in around you... you'd wake up breathless, gasping for air.

The dead approach.

Torture

Sometimes the most pain in our lives comes from within.

Torture

The dead have to go somewhere.

War and death are feeding someone. Perhaps he knew this more than others at the time.

The dead have to go somewhere.

War

War is death. Nothing but death.

War

Ever present demon.

Guiding the young, tortured soul.

Ever present demon.

Archaic Ruins

Eventually all of our beautiful buildings will be ancient ruins, a depiction of the war we sought on this globe.

Archaic Ruins

Alone in a field of bones.

Horrifying imagery.

Alone in a field of bones.

There is almot too much to unpack here.

You could look at this for hours, days, or weeks, and probably still not see every intricate and terrifying detail.

There is almot too much to unpack here.

Red and flesh.

What ran through his mind when he painted this?

Red and flesh.

Created creatures of the darkness.

Looming in the night, looking or hunting...

Created creatures of the darkness.

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