Marta Antoniak is a visual artist, a lecturer tied to Krakow. She is a graduate of the Faculty of Painting of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow. She presently holds a PhD and is an academic teacher at her alma mater. She has had many solo exhibitions and participated in several dozen collective ones in Poland and abroad, including: the 11th Geppert “Attention: Painting!" Competition, the 7th Youth Triennale (“Craft"), and the Jeune Création Européenne—New Talents In European Art Scene Biennale in Paris. She was singled out in the 42nd Bielska Fall 2015 Painting Biennale in Bielsko-Biała. Her works are created with an original technique that involves experimenting with plastic. The main parts of her works are toys, which takes them a step outside of painting toward spatial objects and installations.
A01n11 / Stalker, 2019, original technique on canvas (repurposed toys from the 1990s, covered in colored resin)
The title of this picture alludes to Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker of 1979, which has a surrealist dream sequence. With its brown color, the film shows many objects sunken under water and in mud—metal trash, coins, a rifle, even a fragment of a medieval picture, symbolizing earthly goods like power, knowledge, and wealth. The artist renders the atmosphere of this scene with her own materials and original technique, creating the surfaces of pictures and sculptures from melted plastic from toys like those found in “Kinder surprise” eggs. Antoniak melts them down, leaving their original form partly visible, giving them a collage structure. The toys not only melt into the canvas, but also into carpets or other spatial objects, thus creating installations in-between painting and sculpture. Her work is thematically focused on a critique of consumerism and pop culture.