Artistic Inspirations: Zdzisław Beksiński

Zdzisław Beksiński was a Polish painter, and his career remains one of my biggest inspirations. I discovered his work in high school, and have been enraptured with his paintings ever since. His style is distinct and can be fairly described as disturbing, post-apocalyptic, and surreal.

His career spans many decades of work which brought him a great deal of success. Much like his work, his life was quite tragic. His wife died in 1998 and his son completed suicide a year later, on Christmas Eve in 1999. Beksiński was the one who found his son’s body and never came to terms with his death.

Beksiński’s astounding career was cut short in 2005 when he was murdered by a young man named Robert Kupiec who stabbed him to death following Beksiński’s refusal to loan him money.

Zdzisław Beksiński did not like to attach meaning to his work, and was known to burn some of his paintings that he deemed were too personal. He did not name his paintings or drawings and was not interested in others’ interpretations of his work either. The mysterious quality of his work certainly adds to its appeal, and frees the viewer to quietly draw their own meaning from his potent imagery.