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London, UK


Joanna was born in 1980 in Gubin, a Polish town on the borders of Germany.

She started painting and drawing since the age of five and became very popular in school helping other children create. She was then sent to Art College in 1995 in Zielona Gora and after five years she gained a Diploma from the faculty of Painting as the best student in the class. In 2003, she went to study Visual Arts where she gained her MA degree in Fine Arts (specialising in oil painting)in 2008.

Arriving 10 years ago in London from her native Poland, a country she describes as "grey and non multicultural", Joanna fell in love with the city immediately. Amazed and entranced by many cultures and the vibrant life of the city, she took her sketchbook everywhere, indiscriminately and discreetly recording people on the streets, in parks and cafes. Fleeting moments, everyday lives were rapidly captured in her sketchbooks, as she made her first responses to "being hit by the exciting lifestyle and different, interesting people from all over the world."

As she grew more settled, in her new environment, Joanna began to paint oil portraits of new acquaintances and friends within the artist community of North London. In these paintings, the person is set within their surroundings, in a pub, a garden or at their place of work, and always with a vibrant palette of colours.


My goal is to create paintings which are not only visually interesting through use of a vibrant palette of colours, unique backgrounds or expressive brushstrokes but to also show a true portrait of the person who I decided to paint. Since I can remember people have always been the most fascinating subject for my work. I present the portraits of those who are close to me as well as of others who I meet on a daily basis. Often there is a synchronicity of events - opportunities will present themselves when I might least be expecting them. I try to catch these extraordinary moments and people in my mind and capture their unique, individual expression. My work attempts to introduce unique personalities in their natural environments and convey the emotions which these people are sharing with me. The paintings are a reflection of my inner dialogue with the person who I am portraying. The use of bold and contrasting colours is especially important for me. I am drawn to artists such as Henri de Toulouse- Lautrec, Egon Schiele, Matisse, Lucian Freud, Frida Kahlo. They all captured human fragility and strength whilst at the same time combining their fascination with psychology and the narrative of everyday life.

Instagram: @joannapilarczyk

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