Since 2014・Volume 6
July 2013, Gel ballpoint
pens and markers on leather,
60 x 60cm (24 x 24'').
Debate continues about who might ultimately eat whom. Meanwhile, the contemporary gallery system, technology aside, marginalizes the social media art realm, in particular, as a kind of minor league, but most of those so-called 'minors' could care less. ''I'm not a professional artist,'' Zawiązalec unabashedly declares. ''My clients are normal people. People can easily find me (on social media) and write directly to me like to a normal person, even a friend. So when I publish my artwork on fan pages I have thousands of views.'' Traffic talk; trackable numbers in the form of views, shares, likes and comments. ''My first shield had over 150,000 views on my Facebook page,'' he proudly informs us. Not every one of those 'views' represents another dollar in Zawiązalec's pocket, and one could counter that a well-promoted
exhibition of quality art at a prestigious venue might attract the same traffic, but not every artist
is chasing the same dream. ''For me, that counts, the number of people who can see my art,''
he explains. Regardless, the numbers have translated into a burgeoning business for
Zawiązalec, with customers from Europe, North America, China, Russia and Australia.
Few customers are from his homeland, but luckily social media knows few borders.
Interest and demand in Zawiązalec's shields is tied to the popularity of the television
series Vikings, so imagery depicted on the shields centers around Norse mythology and
iconography; gods such as Odin, viking long boats, trolls, et al. The artist tailors content
to suit his customers' interests, but those interests also happen to be his own. ''My clients
are often people with hobbies like mine; reenactment, fantasy and so on.'' Zawiązalec is
acquainted with his subject matter well enough so that he seldom needs reference
material, stating ''With hand on my heart I can say that all of my works are from my head ''.
That mental library of images is fed by his interest in books. He maintains a ''physical ''
library as well, but that collection serves more intellectual than referential needs.
PENNAME by O. Lebron posted December 10, 2018
Norse Pole・Dariusz Zawiązalec Katowice, Poland
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