Mateusz Hajdo »


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The works of Matuesz Hajdo seem to lead us into temptation. However, while for some it will be convenient to use this term to refer to the erotic and naturalistic aspect of the works, for me the temptation refers to pigeonholing his works in the aforementioned categories. Such categories, although convenient for the viewers, allow them later to position items according to their liking, both in terms of aesthetics and sexuality. When selecting such a perspective, it may be easy to go to extremes - from fetishism to disgust. The universal nature of the characters created by the artist does not seem to me to exclude interpretations of a different kind. 


The first thing that strikes the eye after a thorough examination of the works is accuracy and precision: both in the actual make (of paintings, dolls or of self-constructed mechanisms) and in the respect in which they reflect the reality. However, they do not strive towards hyperrealism simply emphasising the skill of the artist and rejecting the formula of idealisation. We can, as I have said earlier, encounter our own fantasies in the beauty of the exhibits, but we can also allow ourselves to be invited by the artist to take a look at his personal world of perceptions about women.

But isn’t it something more than a personal perception which attracts us to his works? Aesthetic art may be associated with fin de siècle (painting) and assemblages with for instance Hasior (sculptures). Already in this respect the works are timeless in a sense. It seems to me, however, that they completely reflect our own times, in which the sight of the female body as it is shown in lifestyle magazines, advertising and pornography has become more than an average human being can bear. The exhibits made by Mateusz Hajdo seem to show the weariness of that over-exposed form of femininity. The universal character of these women is not demonic as in fin de siècle  but closer to the aforementioned assemblages - in terms of fragmentation, focusing the sight on some unwanted or rejected parts (in this case of the body).

Giving in to temptation which the works of the artist provoke in me, I risk pigeonholing them in the category of a new concept of femininity where the main character is a woman of excess, a  woman of weariness, a woman of sensitivity brutally truncated by the present. Perhaps it will be good if we can give the woman some space in our universe - it is possible that she is tempting us to regain her proper sensitivity.

In whatever category we decide to put these works, let us not forget that the fig leaf hiding sex only appeared when people became ashamed of each other after being tempted by the serpent. If we miss that leaf in the works, it follows that we must have been tempted. Monika Bąkowska