CULTURE.PL: Kacper Kowalski Conquers New York

On 22nd April, the Curator Gallery in New York is to open Above & Beyond – an exhibiton of the works of the Polish photographer and pilot, Kacper Kowalski. The artist will present his photographs in a gallery directed by Ann Moore, longstanding Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of American media giant TIME Inc.

I’ve fallen in love in his photographs in a very traditional way. At first sight.
– said Bill Shapiro, curator of the Above & Beyond exhibition.

Shapiro, who served as the Editor-in-Chief of LIFE Magazine, saw Kacper Kowalski’s photographs for the first time in New York in 2014, at the Photoville festival in Brooklyn.

The photographs were exhibited on prints on old containers. It’s not the best medium, but Beach #9  evoked an electrifying impression. It connotes the classic photographs of Coney Island made by Margaret Bourke-White, taken in the fifties, also from a bird’s-eye view. It was, however, a bit more intimate, colourful, detailed… More anthropological. It was then that I realised that we have to show Kacper at an individual exhibition in New York. – said Bill Shapiro.  

Half a year after this meeting, Kacper Kowalski, a Polish pilot, photographer, and winner of multiple awards, will open his exhibition at the Curator Gallery in the New York’s Chelsea. It’s a place for artists who are currently transitioning to the “top level”. It’s led by Ann Moore, an art patron and a longstanding chairman of the American media giant TIME Inc.

Kacper Kowalski will present the large format Beach #9, a composition of the Polish coast, which has so entranced the American curator. The exhibition will also feature photographs from the Efekty Uboczne / Side Effects project, for which the Polish artist won numerous awards, and a completely new work, Beach 1102, which Kowalski was preparing for last three years.

Side Effects is a documental project in which I show the relationship between humans and nature. It’s universal, although all of the photographs were taken in Poland, particularly in the area of Gdynia, where I live and work. Beach 1102 on the other hand is a step towards a completely new space. I’ve spent several hundred hours in the air for this work to be made. And over three years to get it completed. Beach 1102 is unique. It will never and nowhere be published in an electronic form, it only exists as a physical print. I think that one needs to encounter it face to face to appreciate it. – said Kowalski.

Kacper Kowalski, an architecture graduate, began flying paragliders 20 years ago. He specialises in photography from a bird’s-eye view, showing the usually inaccessible landscapes and urban sceneries. This is how he makes the slightly unreal, almost graphic photographs – images of patterns, symmetries and asymmetries created by human and nature.

This perspective has been awarded multiple times, in competitions in Poland and abroad. Two days after the big opening in New York Kacper Kowalski – as the only Pole this year – is going to Amsterdam, where he will be presented with a World Press Photo award for his long-term project Side Effects, the third such award for his work.

Kacper Kowalski’s photographs have been exhibited in Singapore, Milan, London, Edinburgh, Paris, and his signed prints are a part of private collections. In 2015 his works will be presented in New York, Salzburg, Moscow and Cortina d’Ampezzo.

The photographer has won awards and distinctions from both Polish and international photo competitions: World Press Photo (2009, 2014, 2015), Picture of The Year International - POYi (2012, 2014), Grand Press Photo, Nikon Photo Contest International, National Geographic, Sony World Photography Award, International Photography Awards (IPA), Best Of Photojournalism (NPPA).

His debut album Side Effects, published in January of 2014, has also been awarded with prestigious distinctions. This year the book qualified for the finals of Picture of the Year in the Best Photography Book Award category.

Kacper Kowalski is partnered by City of Gdynia and supported by Culture.pl and The Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York.

Kacper Kowalski - Above and Beyond

22.04 - 30.05.2015

The Curator Gallery

520 West 23rd Street

New York

United States

Source: press materials, edit. AW, transl. Agata Dudek, 22/04/15.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE ON CULTURE.PL: http://culture.pl/en/event/kacper-kowalski-conquers-new-york

Read also: Kacper Kowalski, World Press Photo 2015 Laureate

Kacper Kowalski’s offcial website: http://www.kacperkowalski.pl/

Photograph: Kacper Kowalski/Panos