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Born: 1972, Tarnow, Poland
Lives and Works: Tarnow
Working primarily as a painter and filmmaker, Wilhelm Sasnal brings to his art an underlying skepticism about the authenticity of visual culture and the process of seeing. As the works on view demonstrate, Sasnal deliberately employs many styles (graphic, abstract, expressive, minimalist), as well as a range of sources (photographs, the Internet, television, magazines, comic books, and other media) and subjects (portraits, landscapes, architecture, cartoons, and everyday objects). In D. Johnston (2007) for example, the artist depicts Daniel Johnston, an eccentric artist and musician who suffers from mental illness, in dramatic light and shadow. The strangeness of Johnston's character is manifest in his hands, which seem to blend into the piano, while his body takes on a ghostly appearance. In the landscape Untitled (2008), Sasnal subverts the traditional romantic vista of a dark sunset (or moon rising) over water by placing the orb below the horizon line.