We talked to Lukasz Wierzbowski about his family photographs, which appear in Issue I.
When asked what he wanted viewers to see in his work, the photographer Lukasz replied – somewhat tersely – that he had ‘no wish to impose or communicate such vulgar meaning’ and that ‘they can take what they want from it.’ Pre-empting another question, he finished by declaring that ‘meaning is for critics.’ He is, obviously, someone who does not suffer fools.
Yet, his pictures are interesting, and ask to be discussed. Taken over five years on various analogue cameras, they focus on his nieces, his ‘first muses’, with whom he shares ‘an intimacy based on intuitive understanding’ which the series ‘tries to capture’.
Many would balk at this idea, but it’s not quite as it sounds – they and he are more like cousins, and are of a similar age. Yet, even he concedes that it’s ‘hard to explain’ the sheer intimacy they contain – relying as it does on a ‘non-rational’ naturalness that can only come from mutual experience.
And, then, there’s the nudity. Wierzbowski believes it ‘allows the viewer to see something close to purity, away from the boundaries we set ourselves.’ It helps him capture the non-rational bond he finds so hard to put into words, allowing the lens to ‘split away the world around them’.
At the end of our conversation, Wierzbowski said something telling: ‘These are photos of two women I grew up with.’ And this informs the spirit of the series: not excessive, or lusty, or anything like that, but expressive love.
Lukasz Wierzbowski is from Poland but lives in Berlin.
Image: Lukasz Wierzbowski