Roman Klonek is a Polish-born illustrator with an ability to create surfaces and textures that demand to be hung on your walls. With a show opening tonight at Kemistry Gallery in London we see a glimpse of what Roman says he does when he doesn’t have any other illustration work on, woodcuts. That’s not to do them an injustice though, as there is a depth of finish that begs to be viewed up close and personal, and fortuitously we now have that chance.
Taking influence from Eastern European cartoon styles and having studied Graphic Arts in the 1990’s, he discovered a passion for woodcut printing. When you walk into Kemistry your eyes are filled with a selection of vibrant, easily digestible and immediately pleasing images. It’s only when you manage to view them face to face that you really begin to understand the craft and dedication behind creating each and every one.
A somewhat painstaking process goes into creating the prints. The necessary shapes are chipped from the woodblocks, inked and then printed before the process starts all over again to add the other layers of colour.
The prints he creates are populated by a wide range of whimsical creatures, mostly half animal/half human, and often presented in awkward or hair-raising situations and Roman succeeds in creating worlds featuring a bizarre balancing act between folklore and popular culture. One most certainly not to be missed.
Roman Klonek: Flux Gate Kasachok
17th April — 30th May
43 Charlotte Road, Shoreditch
London EC2A 3PD