About Krzysztof Ślachciak
Krzysztof (Eng. Christopher) Ślachciak, born in 1983, Poznań, Poland, is an Artist photographer and a member of The Association of Polish Art Photographers. He graduated from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań with masters degree in Korean Studies and in Poznań University of Economics he did postgraduate studies in the field of Business to Business Marketing with thesis on advertising photography.
From 2008 he runs his own commercial photography studio. From 2011 until 2016, on the invitation of profesor Włodzimierz Włoszkiewicz, he conducted practical lessons of photography and lectures of composition for the Architecture Department’s students at the Poznań University of Technology.
From 2013 until 2016 he ran the photography section of the Artistic Science Club. At present he works for promoting artistic photography as a member of the board of The Association of Polish Art Photographers, Greater-Poland region. He also conducts his workshops and open-air events. Until now he has shown his works at more than 40 collective and solo exhibitions as well as other artistic events.
Hi Krzysztof, could you tell our readers a little bit about who you are?
Hello! My name is Chris, and I am a photographer, sometimes an artist photographer. I think that is the best line to describe me 😉
My everyday routine is commercial photography, I work with various companies helping them to get their products and services to the people they want. I live about 20 kilometers from Poznań, Poland, in quiet surroundings, close to nature, without television, with my wife and a dog. Occasionally, when I must, I become an artist. This is a time of my personal therapy, getting away from the world and closing my dilemmas. Time when I work mostly with my thoughts and eventually conceive some pictures.
Tell us about your art style or process.
From my point of view neither my process nor my art style are based on technical, or even visual aspects. I sometimes work with a medium format analog film, sometimes with a digital camera, sometimes with pinholes, I light-paint, use multi exposure, manually edit or even destroy negatives, and I use Photoshop to achieve effects of digitally edited photographs.
As a commercial photographer I am used to choosing the most appropriate means to achieve my goals. This is also the case when I work on my artistic projects and it all starts with fascination, dilemma or a problem. Then comes ideas how to put them into pictures and these pictures, when finished, tend to close the case of this fascination, problem or dilemma. After that I feel more conciliated with the world. So my artistic creation is more like spiritual experience.
You are a member of the board of The Association of Polish Art Photographers. How do you promote artistic photography?
I am a member of the board of The Association of Polish Art Photographers, Greater-Poland region to be exact. We are actually experimenting with means of promoting artistic photography right now. The key to our way of thinking is realizing that photography is not a monolith. There are a lot of completely different ways of doing artistic photography.
As you probably know, documentary and conceptual photographers are on the top nowadays, but they are not the only ones there. Also, every photographer is different and probably needs different ways of promotion. So our philosophy is not to promote one of the trends but to provide opportunities for our members to promote themselves on their own terms. We also try to show the public the diversity of trends in photography by organizing exhibitions and helping in publishing photography books, and while doing so, we try to embrace every trend our members represent. We also work online, I personally run the website, and the Facebook page of our region: http://zpafpoznan.pl
Where does your inspiration come from?
I suppose it all comes from carving my views on the world. The key factor is probably freedom. When I feel something or someone distorts my freedom, I turn around. I read a lot about science, history, religion. I like to listen to various opinions, YouTube is very helpful here, and which is not without significance, I am an atheist, so a natural septic.
From a visual point of view I do not have any specific inspirations and I sometimes, mostly during exhibitions, I find out that some of my pictures resemble historic art, which is never my intention. Having said that I must admit I admire works of subjective artist photographers, and I consider myself to be influenced by their work a lot. I am also influenced by paintings. Mostly because I evolved as an artist surrounded by painters and sculptures.
Tell us about other artists/role-models or books that played a key role on your artistic journey.
Having a role-model is very dangerous. If you like to be like someone else, it means that you are in some way copying them, making the same mistakes, you’re susceptible to manipulation, and moreover you are not fully independent.
So there are photographers whose body of works I admire, and that would be mostly Polish artists: Stanisław Woś, Edward Hartwig, Zdzisław Beksiński, and the one you might have heard of: Bronisław Schlabs. From let’s say World history of art: Minor White, Otto Steinert, Helmut Newton for sure and some still life works by Edward Weston.
You also conduct workshops and open-air events. Could you tell us something about this?
Sure. A couple of times a year I am asked to conduct workshops. They mostly explore my technical abilities, which are a part of my commercial photography, but sometimes I am invited to talk about my artistic practice.
I am a former lecturer, I worked at Poznań University of Technology, Architecture Department, where I ran an artistic science club for students interested in photography and I have conducted practical lessons and lectures of composition. So, I am quite used to talking to people, and I enjoy it.
How did you learn/acquire your technique?
I am self-taught photographer, so I learn everything by experimenting and reading books on a subject, sometimes using YouTube tutorials. But that’s it. I have no formal education neither in arts or in photography.
How has art impacted your life?
On an everyday basis it is shaped on how I perceive creativity. When someone calls a saturated landscape, or wedding reportage an art, I say “yeah right”, ironically of course. Art also gives me opportunity to blow off some existential steam. In a similar way that church gives it to it’s believers I suppose…but in my case the rules are mine.
Tell us a bit about your last work.
My last work was conceived in a little different way. This time it all started with music. I have found a band which plays music and I thought it would work perfectly with some of my works. So I decided to offer a collaboration, and they agreed. They were working on a new album, so it was also an opportunity to do something together.
I did a cover photo session for them with one of my favorite models. They chose a picture, I prepared it, and in the album book they used my works from “Cosmic Perspective” series. So the cooperation was very successful. I later stated on my Facebook, that it was “a step towards immortality”. However, as I worked with a post production of the cover photo, I realized that this is a good start for something I had always wondered about, and I had been always interested in. Moreover, it is a topic which is included in a concept of this album – future of technology and humanity.
That’s how “Post Sapiens” series came to be, and the album which triggered it is titled “Post Sapiens 101” by Abstrakt Band. I highly recommend their music. Its awesome!
What is your current WIP?
I am currently in a relaxed mode and don’t have any WIP right now.
What does the future look like for you and your art?
In the long term – I just don’t know. In a short term – I am working towards a big solo show in the city of Poznań which I plan for the first part of 2020. There is a lot to do, and a lot of money to gather for it. And I will be hosting, live, Abstrakt during a reception party. There is also a plan for an album or some kind of a listen-book with my works and Abstrakt’s music.
Any words of advice to aspiring artists?
Make your own decisions. Be independent, be yourselves. It needs some courage, and it may make you sometimes feel miserable, but if it works, it really works.
Your photography is absolutely stunning! Which project has been the most difficult or satisfying?
Thanks. The most difficult was definitely “Mara”. It took me 2 years to finish and I couldn’t get rid of it out my head during that time. It’s also the most successful series of mine. It has been exhibited 7 times in the most prestigious galleries, that my works have ever been exhibited.
So in that perspective it’s also the most satisfying. But personally for me, to watch and to be proud of the achieved effect is “Cosmic Perspective”. It’s quite difficult for viewers, but, you know – the Universe is not there to satisfy your aesthetics, nor the art is.
Would you like to share any more information with our readers?
Don’t get me started 😉
How can our readers contact you or find your art?
Everything is on my website, also links to my social media:
An Artist Feature by Chriselda Barretto
Contact Krzysztof directly with the code “CHRISELDA” to get 10% off his work
Contact : Chriselda Barretto
Check out more projects by Chriselda Barretto :
Her Blog – chriselda.blog
Her Podcast – The 3 Pillars