Krzysztof Strzelecki was born in 1993 in Świdnica, South West Poland. He studied BA (Hons) in Fine Art Photography at the University of the Arts London (UAL), Camberwell, 2016-19. Currently, he alternates between London and Świdnica, and works in a variety of media including ceramics, photography and site-specific installations. Strzelecki’s influences encompass Christian iconography and ancient mythology; he explores the differences (and similarities) between man and the environment, contrasting the wilds of nature with the fragility of the human form. His work often engages with queer culture and considers how different societies relate to LGBT+ issues of acceptance and prejudice. His photographs are often taken in the open air, where the naked body is exposed to the elements. His own body is central to this approach, and he often acts as both model and photographer. This represents a kind of performance, where he seeks to find answers to universal uncertainties regarding ‘where I belong’ and ‘how I see myself’? He incorporates photography into his ceramics and embraces the Japanese attitude of wabi-sabi, which accepts and appreciates the unpredictable beauty of any ‘imperfections’ – each form therefore is unique, and every ‘broken’ piece adds to his understanding.
My work engages with LGBTQ+ issues, especially the enduring problem of discrimination. My practice examines the contrasts between the contemporary body and the body in history, for example; when elevated to an effigy of a god. I am influenced primarily by Christian iconography, ancient mythology and my travels around the world meeting LGBTQ+ people and hearing their stories. Queer culture reacts to different environments and changes with time. I use often my own body in my photographs, creating a performance and blurring the definitions between being a gay man, an artist and a model responding to my immediate surroundings and the prevailing political situation.
In my ceramics I combine a variety of photographic techniques and coloured glazes to achieve the final result. To realise some projects I have to collaborate with different artists and/or commercial companies to assist in the process. Whilst I use a range of techniques and materials in my projects, they remain connected through subject matter. The most important for me is practice – the process of challenging myself and improving my skills. I do not view ‘mistakes’ as errors but as a means to tell the unique story of every piece (in accordance with the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi).