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After Toshio Yoshizumi (Japan) and Velizar Krstic (Serbia), Wieslaw Haladaj is the third artist to be awarded the Grand Prix of Varna biennial for works, portraying human face. This is a peculiar regularity that shows the growing interest of contemporary graphic artists in the link between external likeness and expression, on one side, and inner human universe, on the other. Attention to the depths of human/ animal nature and the archetype is in sharp contrast to the community-imposed ,positive' models, by which modern man arrives at his identity.
There is no barrier on the boundary between imagination and reality in Wieslaw Haladaj's graphic art. In his print series "Appearance" and "Disappearance", a gradual transition of one face into another can be observed. This transformation is most distinctly seen in the depiction of ageing faces. The old woman's wrinkled face turns into a sculpture, as if made of brittle straw. Images, reminiscent of the most cherished moments in life, can be uncovered in the dense strokes of the print texture - two heads, a man's and a woman's, merging into one. This is the artist's expression of his outlook on life - very much like the vision of the psalm-writer: "My days are like the evening shadow; l wither away like grass. But you, O Lord, sit enthroned forever; your renown endures through all generations". (Psalm 102:11,12)
The works of Wieslaw Haladaj are distinguished by their emphasis on expression. One can sense the influence of expressionism and surrealism here. This is mostly visible in the prints that remind ,The Scream' of Edward Munch, as well as in the symbolism of bird-men, rooted in Polish art.
Wieslaw Haladaj is an exquisite engraver, obsessed by the mastery of stroke, the detail, and the deep-seated human fear of fate and the end of man's earthly pilgrimage.
Violeta Valkanova art. Critic