​​All artwork © Dariusz Zawiązalec

The shields, the art adorning them, and Zawiązalec's choice of studio name evoke impressions of an artist living a hermetic existence deep in a remote, thickly forested valley. Promotional photography staged in such environs to show off his shields

 further such impressions: kindred spirits, even customers, bejeweled in fine 'goth retro steampunk ' fashion pose

with the shields. All part of the fun at the 'Forge'. But

Zawiązalec is decidedly urban, based in one of  Poland's

largest cities: Katowice. ''This region was a coal field,

a large industrial agglomeration. The city is slowly

becoming a modern, high tech center, but still lacks green spaces, unfortunately.''  Although he says there's plenty

to do in Katowice, Zawiązalec is working toward a future corresponding more to thickly forested valleys than to art

scenes or youth culture; ''Some ducks, goats, bees and

lots of dogs and cats'' make up that list. While  Zawiązalec

is not quite a 'hermit ', he does describe himself as an

introvert. ''I don't like to work with people. Definitely a quiet

guy who loves to have peace of mind,'' he admits. The

'humble guy from Poland ' — as per his twitch.tv website

profile — considers himself ''not a very interesting person,''

but the artwork says otherwise. So do the costumes

appearing in those photo sessions, which Zawiązalec made himself but modestly describes to us as ''amateurish''. 

The Bride  shield  Sept. 2018

80cm Ø  (31.5'' Ø)

Gel ballpoint pens,

pencil, markers

& hardware

 on wood​.

PENNAME  by O. Lebron  posted December 10, 2018

Norse Pole・Dariusz Zawiązalec   Katowice, Poland


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Original content © The Ballpointer / Mahozawari Unlimited

Aside from requisite grade school art classes, Zawiązalec has no formal art

education, and his time at university instead culminated with a degree in political

science. ''I studied to become a office worker in local city hall. I had a few months

apprenticeship but that was all, after I finished my studies I never worked in that

profession.'' For over a decade now, it's been all about the art, earning his living

using wood, leather, metal hardware and ballpoint pens. ''I've always loved to draw

and I'm doing it ever since I remember. It's my greatest passion and reason to live.

I don't think you need to have art education to make art. Sometimes it can even

block your creativity. True art comes from the heart and passion, not educated

skills. Of course I don't think that art education is all bad, but I put passion over

the education.'' 

The thirtysomething  artist says he participated in a number of group exhibitions

when he was younger, even held some shows of his own, but currently has little

interest in dealing with galleries. ''I really don't like 'professional artist' world, I don't fit

there,'' he professes. For Zawiązalec and the like-minded multitudes who have both

the passion for their art and that same disinterest in the formal art world, along came

the internet and its quicker fix: social media. Zawiązalec is the perfect example of an

artist making full use of the democratizing technology to forge a quintessentially 21st

century social media art career, and he's completely unapologetic about it.  

''In a time of Facebook, there is no point to even have a 

separate website. A lot of people, not only artists, can see your work. Facebook literally eats the rest of internet.''

Continues on  HEADLINES 2  page ...

Mother   shield  Oct. 2018  

80cm Ø  (31.5'' Ø)  

Gel ballpoint pen,

pencil, markers

& hardware 

on wood.

Wood, leather, metal hardware and perhaps some animal bone or fur accoutrements. The makings of a fine Viking shield.

And if that shield came from the Black Forest Forge? Add ballpoint pens to the supply list. Black Forest Forge is the studio, and fledgling 'brand ', of Dariusz Zawiązalec, whose output often incorporates all-of-the-above materials, and shields are one form the Polish artist's ballpoint pen works appear. ''There is no  'forging'  of metal to make swords or weapons, either as a job or as art,'' the artist clarifies. "I just thought  'Black Forest Forge'  was a cool, dark name. My art is connected with pagan mythology, history and fantasy, so thats why the name sounds good to me.'' Nonetheless, for those planning a siege, taking one of these shields into battle just might ensure a swift victory: the finely inked mythological scenes decorating them provide a perfect distraction for overthrowing adversaries.

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