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prof Henryk Cześnik

An artist, teacher and a master of many generations of artists

The colors and brush strokes in Henio’s paintings lead on canvas a separate existence. Hardly ever do they merge into a uniform being. His pictures may be contemplated in layers. Colors and brush strokes. Beautifully balanced colors of peculiar hues that can be seen only in exotic birds’ plumage bathed in a wash of grey (the grey does it, forget the birds of paradise). From the distance, all I can see are these colors, hypnotic, so I come closer and the brush strokes begin to tell their story. The close I get, the less convoluted they are, they begin to speak in a uniform voice. Henio can draw emotions with one speedy stroke. A seemingly tangled web you can trace like Ariadne till you get to the very core. Henio has never been for muddling the crux of the matter- he paints it with a few bold strokes and says: ‘See? This is what I meant.’ He is a great humanist and his focus on man is clearly visible in his work. He broods about the vagaries of human soul, gets involved in conversations about it-fiery discussions full of laughter, emotions, cries and agitations- intense, convoluted and inquisitive.
Artistically and intellectually he reaches into the past and into the future, however the main emphasis is on medieval period due to large formats and a peculiar kind of asceticism. Henio has always been fascinated by Pietas- a dead son in his mother’s lap. This relationship between mother and son will not leave him in peace, its intensity, tenderness and pain possess him, this relationship forever true, timeless, more important than any other human bond consumes him. He draws himself in it and then muses about it? Or first broods and then paints? No one knows, but he needs to paint to express himself. Sometimes he grabs a pencil and starts to sketch in the middle of a conversation- on a napkin, a shoebox, anything handy. He loves painting on old sheets and I don’t mean the pristine ones- stained with blood in hospital? Good, they have their own story, like a shroud with an imprint of human fate on it that inspires him to contemplate even more and paint another picture full of great beauty that will capture your heart.

On a less exalted note- Henio is a wonderful man. To be with him and to talk to him is a great adventure. He is full of energy and ideas, loves music, wine and conversation. In lieu of childhood that was cut short he is catching up on carefree life now. He simply adores being happy and buoyant and does not keep it secret. How wonderful!
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