The word "figure" derives from the Latin language; it can be abbreviated
as "fig." or symbolized by the Greek letter "φ", which refers to the
figure. It can be a symbol of luminous flux as well as a golden ratio.
Książek uses this ambiguity as the starting point for his new series of
paintings entitled "Figures."
Paweł Książek is a painter – an analyst. His paintings are a result of a process of research. In the "Figures" series, the collected raw materials include photographs depicting different phenomena or people coming from visual arts, pop culture, movies, or the internet. Książek then classifies and processes them through the medium of painting. In this way, Książek directly refers to the methodology developed by Aby Warburg, based on building iconographic atlases and their comparative analysis.
Figures is a series of portraits of women. Each one of the paintings includes the abbreviation "fig." in the title and an ordinal number. The artist states: "This series is my next project relating to the creation of an alternative history of obsessive collecting. I am building an architecture of emotion based on several canons of aesthetic and visual material sources. I do not portray people, but rather create a collection of emotional states". Once again, Książek is reaching out to the traditions of early cinema, searching for a heroine with a distinctive type of beauty: thin lips, sparse eyebrows, and rounded cheeks. Silvia Sidney, one of Fritz Lang's favorite actresses, possessed these very features. In black and white films, these actresses resemble porcelain dolls or wax sculptures, almost unreal. When changing the medium to painting, these faces suddenly seem to gain life.