Christoph Woloszyn (Photographer)
I belong to the artist group "Künstler-Initiative Gelsenkirchen", "Art in the City.”
My view and interpretation of art is very different. I use standard photography and at the same time image modification. I have been told many times that I create unusual but also expressive images. These are pictures with both visible and hidden messages for the viewer.
However, the essence of art is to look beyond the borders, instead of just staying in creative development. Creating one's own kind of art, following one's own thoughts, using one's own intellect and representing the real in a different way, that's my kind that will always follow.
In my experimental visual language I work as a surrealist. In my motifs I go beyond the real and the substantial.
I alienate my photographic motifs through light, through technical effects, through materials to bring it closer to the viewer, but in a different constellation and perspective.
In 2010, I studied "photo design" at the art academy IBKK in Bochum with a degree in photo design. For many years I have been engaged in art photography. Self-developed photo projects, are worked out and converted by me. Numerous art exhibitions and art fairs, both national and international mark my artistic path.
Berlin List 2016
Art Innsbruck 2017
Spectrum Miami Art Fair 2018
ArtExpo New York 2019
Rome, Miami, New York, Gelsenkirchen, Hagen, Varel/Obenstrohe, Wiesloch, Bochum, Herne, Fröndenberg, Mülheim, Münster.
The Worlds of Alienation by Christoph Woloszyn
“Beyond reality” – that was the objective of many artists in the 1920s who dedicated themselves to surrealism, a movement that reacted to (among other things) the new dream interpretations and psychoanalytical insights of Sigmund Freud. They realized that, alongside and outside of the real, subjectively experienced world, there had to at least be another plane in the field of human experience and knowledge – the subconscious. The window was thus opened to a seemingly unendingly vast landscape of emotions and experiences. Today’s artists continue to benefit from this – like the Hagen-based photographer Christoph Woloszyn.
As Max Ernst, one of the prominent representatives of surrealism, once did, he combines things, observations, traumatic events and dreams into unconventional metaphors for life where, in one of the first photo series of this position he’s developed over nearly ten years, he concentrates on two themes: the human body and nature. Tree, vein, mist, rock formation, fin, palm branch, bark, seasonal impressions, forest provide us with the associations for a new, grotesque, bizarre, adventurous, or even mind-expanding relationship with the phenomenon in our evolved, familiar, but also endangered surroundings. In these digital photo fantasies, human and nature coalesce into a masterfully composed, creative alienation technique.
In these metamorphoses and transformations, Woloszyn is very close to the religious pantheism philosophy of one Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. God shows Himself through and in nature as the Maker and Ruler of our visible cosmos. Man, in his haughtiness and drive to subjugate all, endangers this intrinsically harmonious connection between nature and the homo sapiens, who unfortunately conducts himself again and again as if he were unaware. Japan’s unbelievable disaster in the nuclear power plant of Fukushima, but also the wars and oppressions flaring in many unpacified regions of the world, could potentially cause Mother Earth to lose her patience for good. Man should and must actually relentlessly and consistently advocate protecting the earth, preserving it, appreciating the divine in everything about it, and finally gratefully accepting creation as a gift. It would be wonderful, and save the world and humanity, if this realization were at least to gain long-term acceptance. Approaches were and are discernible time and again – and then comes the self-induced catastrophe, the man-made chaos, the knowingly initiated process of exploitation and depletion. We all have to bear the consequences. It is an intergenerational contract when we care for our earth, our natural surroundings, and live with it and in it. There is no better argument for man’s future prospects.
The surreal image motifs of Christoph Woloszyn move about in this meshing of responsibility and insight, of present and future. A native of Poland born in 1959, he came to Germany in 1987. He has already worked in photography for several years – although in the classical sense, he previously stood in the tradition of landscape painting. However, the combinatorial possibilities of digital technology drew him like a magnet to photography. His work has many facets – one of which we will get to know here in this exhibition titled “Body Structures”. Woloszyn restricts this pool of motifs, which he collects and constantly expands like an archaeological archivist, to these differently sized formats. As has been said:
The naked, that is the uncovered, radically stripped body, mostly that of women as an homage to the feminine and the aesthetically grounded projection of man, mutates into a natural landscape.
It becomes stony and jagged, augmented by the cloudiness of a dream, enlarged into a visual adventure, reinterpreted into emotional inspiration. Nature clothes the body that was previously totally exposed. Plants, branches, leaves, and stones structure the human mass and the human dimensions. A union, a marriage takes place: between the fundamental, protective, even foreign habitat and the individual abilities of the human mind, the senses and the act. In this interplay, the soul reveals its true nature. Woloszyn’s photographs carry us away into the paradisal primal state, when man and nature still mutually and equally tolerated and accepted one another. His variations on surrealism turn to utopia and vision: in dreams, man and nature are one sumptuous, but mutually supportive unit. He himself would have to explain the extent to which his photo collages, with their luxurious color palette, convey religious themes and ideological content.
All the same, we can enjoy these freely conceived, yet strictly conceptualized fantasy impressions, indeed staged by light and color choice as well as object components – as messages of a newly created, intimate dialogue between all of us, between the photographer and the inner and outer world, between heaven and earth, between existence and supernaturalism. In a sense, Woloszyn gives us a corridor that we can walk with our eyes, from which we can step out in the various directions of an image and thought architecture, if we so choose. The photographer emphatically and fantastically opens for us these structures he has sketched out which, nevertheless, lead back to ourselves. For this loop that first starts with us, in order to lead back into our own areas of imagination after a spiritual co-view with the artistic ego, has an innovative and magical effect on the dreamer of the image. Woloszyn suggestively drags us into his phantasmagoria. A fascinating process, by which we are occasionally also surprised and provoked.
That is the nature of art, however; that it leverages laws and rules, that it realigns our view to the magic of the unknown or even the innocent, that we have to reorient ourselves in order to set out with this visual experience in an unknown land, where – as an ironic commentary – the people grow on trees.
With this first presentation of Christoph Woloszyn (his imaginative artist’s name: Xelix), Jenny Canales is exhibiting renewed proof of how richly the cultural region on the Ruhr, the Emscher, and the Lippe continues to reveal and renew itself. And: the joy of discovery with which the gallery owner appreciates her voluntary office and gives a myriad of artists a platform as a chance.
The exhibiting artist may therefore forgive me if I quickly incorporate the city of Hagen, his main place of residence with lots of green and the most beautiful, real experience of nature, in this context of the Ruhr area.
I would like to wish this exhibition and the “Kunst in der City” (Art in the City) forum many more such discoveries. Old Goethe, as I am quite sure, would likewise enjoy this, at times skeptically roughened and critically reflective, joy of nature with which Christoph Woloszyn confronts us. In light of these unknown and unforeseen impressions, he would presumably write a Faustian, demonic, mythical ballad. But all other natural poets will also search out new fuel for their own literary work in these motif disassociations.
(Art historian, author, and editor)
"The Scream" - What we scream
The cry is a vocal utterance of man. Screaming serves a communicative purpose and is often an expression
of pain or dissatisfaction and then serves, for example, to gain dominance, intimidation of the dialogue partner or defense.
Screaming makes an intense call to action. The expression of the cry is different in each person, as are the different
faces of the screamers.
People of different backgrounds from Gelsenkirchen and the surrounding area were asked to scream,
asked to speak in a form of a scream. Through their facial expressions that arise during the screaming,
they show clear feelings that affect the viewer with full force and energy. One has the feeling of being shouted
one feels called to act.
The photographed faces scream for more attention, for peace in the world, against poverty, against violence,
against xenophobia, for equal rights of all people, against social exclusion.
Germany is a multicultural society, where people of different nationalities, languages, religion and origin live together.
People of different cultures can have different traditions, lifestyles or notions of values and ethics.
Skin color and origin in Germany today is nothing unusual, but you can still find that there are people who avoid the
foreign fellow citizens, avoid them. Such reaction is unfounded, contemptuous and humiliating at the same time to the
foreign fellow citizens and to ourselves. We must not only watch, we must act.
The violence in the world is constantly growing, every time you hear in the news, what people do to each other.
Terrifying acts happen on a small and large scale, actions that bring death and suffering. The old principle of "an eye for an eye"
finally makes everyone blind.
The art scene should not remain indifferent to the suffering of people worldwide.
The artists, authors and citizens of Gelsenkirchen and the surrounding area took part in the photo project "The Scream"
What we are screaming for: The images cry out for more attention and more understanding and acceptance from person to
person in order to strengthen in ourselves the good human side.
"Man, stop it"
"No room for poverty"
"No social exclusion"
"Living in peace"
"From human to human"
My picture compositions address the topic of pollution.
They visualize the suffering of the people as a consequence of environmental poisoning.
”Polluted air”, “chemical toxins” and “nuclear radiation” are part of the most dangerous kinds of pollution.
The pictures scream, protest and warn about the consequences of increasing industrialization.
In the visions of the future the human being breathes in the toxic air “in the boundaries of tomorrow” and
causes much environmental damage in his environment by industrialization. How far these visions of the future
are from reality we will surely soon experience.
The series of pictures is a protest and at the same time a warning to every person about what will happen in
future if we do not change our attitude towards the environment. Every person has the right to clean air to breathe.
We are not indifferent to our environment, are we? We want to live healthily and conscious of our environment.
Is that really so?
For many pollution is a difficult topic. Surely everyone is asking themselves if we cannot change anything? – Definitely.
Many know about it, but some just don’t care. “The boundaries of tomorrow” symbolize the catastrophic consequences of pollution.
The human being recognizes the deadly danger that has done him so much harm. Pollution by industrialization will accompany us
to the limits of pain. Has our fate already been sealed?
The unstoppable path of humankind leads us up to the “boundaries of tomorrow” where pain, illnesses,
resignation and our end is awaiting us.
The series of pictures raises the following questions:
• Have we reached the limit of what the environment can take?
• When will the limit of what the environment can take be reached?
• When won’t we be able to breathe anymore?
• Why are we doing this to ourselves?
• Is our end unstoppable?
• Do we have to continue to live like this?
Insidious poisons that surround us and that we carry in us make us ill. Industries,
especially nuclear power and chemical industries burden us with poisonous waste.
The increasing pollution of the soil by heavy metals which is caused by industrial plants
is a deadly burden for the people. The production of chemicals is steadily increasing.
Chemical industry is developing new chemical substances which are not examined systematically
for damage they might do to people. Interaction between various chemicals can hardly be examined.
More accurate test methods are not used for financial reasons or because of the time they take.
Only standard methods are applied.
Fine dust is one of the greatest causes of pollution. It is alarming that the number of respiratory diseases
is steadily increasing. We have already strained our environment with toxic waste to an extent that makes
the risks unmanageable. The worst of it is that the results of the damage are not immediately evident,
but that it will take years to show how ill mankind have become. Ultimately it will show what we have done to ourselves.
New and unexpected illnesses might develop from the mixture of poisons.
Time will tell what scary surprise is awaiting us.
Almost everyone has probably already asked themselves the question: what is "art" actually?
Art is an expression of thoughts that can be made visible in unlimited different ways.
The philosopher Immanuel Kant said, "Have the courage to serve you of your own mind."
This core sentence is applicable on every artist and is aimed to all creative minds who want to create their own
kind of art. I belong to those who move away from standard photography and pursue new approaches.
My view and interpretation of art is very different.
I use the standard photography and at the same time the image alienation.
I have been told many times that I create unusual but meaningful pictures.
These images contain visible as well as hidden messages for the viewer.
However, the essence of art is the ability to look beyond the boundaries instead of stagnating in the own
Creating own art, following the thought of Kant,
using the own mind and representing the true different is my "artistic path" I will always follow.