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Top Polish artist of today

Posted by Damian Novitzky on 30/10/2019
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Despite a tiny obstacle of the most difficult language in the world, the Polish cultural scene has a lot to offer. Doesn’t matter if it’s music, literature, theatre or movies. Polish artist is ridiculously potent and creative these days, and they’re getting more and more world recognition. So, if you want to be ahead of the curve, we prepared a list of a top polish artist of today.

Paweł Pawlikowski

Pawlikowski’s name is still appearing because his status as “the first Polish film director in history to receive an Oscar for the best foreign film” for Ida in 2014. Few people know, however, that his first feature film, Last Resort, was made at the age of 43! Pawlikowski started his directing career with documentary films, mainly made for the BBC. You can call it “late blooming”, but each of his feature films is complete and complete. With Ida Pawlikowski reached a level that is unavailable to most contemporary Polish filmmakers. The quality is accompanied by popularity. After receiving an Oscar and over a hundred other awards, in 2018 Pawlikowski made The Cold War, which this year was recognized as the best European film. He received (for the first time in Polish history) the award for best director at the Cannes Film Festival. He was also nominated for an Oscar for Best Director and Best Foreign Film. We can safely say that Pawlikowski is currently the “hottest” Polish film artist, who can choose probably every project he wants to work with.

Agnieszka Holland

She is a Polish film/television director and screenwriter. Starting her career as an assistant to Krzysztof Zanussi and Andrzej Wajda, Holland become one of Poland’s most influential filmmakers. Mainly thanks to her political contributions to Polish cinema. Holland is best known for her films Europa Europa (1991) and her 2011 drama In Darkness. For her work, she was nominated for Oscar three times, in categories of Best Foreign Language Film and Best Adapted Screenplay. She also received a Golden Globe, the Alfred Bauer Prize (Silver Bear) from the Berlin International Film Festival. As well as the FIPRESCI award at Cannes Festival. But those are only her international awards, there are also plenty of Polish ones. Despite being a senior director, Holland remains one of the hardest working filmmakers in Poland. Nearly every other year, she is presenting a new movie, still asking difficult questions and looking for truth on the screen.

Jan Komasa

Komasa comes from a family with artistic traditions, and he built his film workshop at the Łódź Film School, which is considered to be one of the best in Europe. Jan Komasa is also one of the most enigmatic Polish filmmakers. In his career, he has made documentaries with small budgets, as well as big-budget epics. Each of his films meets with great interest of viewers and critics. It doesn’t matter if he diagnoses Warsaw teenagers in Suicide Room or interprets the myth of the Warsaw Uprising heroism in Warsaw 44. One cannot be indifferent to his films. After a five-year break, Komasa returned with Corpus Cristi, a film that received great reviews at many international festivals. It was also selected as the Polish entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards. If you want to be a part of the social dialogue or get a deeper understanding of what’s actually happening “under the skin” of Poland, Komasa is a right artist.

Leszek Możdżer

Możdżer is a Polish composer, jazz pianist, music producer and film music composer. That is just his official titles. In fact, he’s currently the most famous Polish musician in the world. His concerts are sold out all over the globe. In 2012, he was the first Pole to be selected to chair the jury of the Montreux Jazz Piano Competition, an international piano competition organized under the auspices of Quincy Jones. He has collaborated with the most excellent jazz musicians and producers, such as Oscar-winning Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, Zbigniew Preisner and David Gilmour. Recently, he has more and more often devoted himself to film music, and his last soundtrack Ikar. Legend of Mietek Kosza won the Best Soundtrack of the Year award. Możdżer seems to be another legendary composer in the making. It would be unwise not to admire his work!

Jan Klata

Klata is one of the most original theatre directors and playwrights. He has produced over 30 performances on the stages of Polish and foreign theatres. Since his first independent production on the professional stage, Klata has appeared as one of the most compelling voices of the new Polish theatre. In his debut, he moved the classical action of Gogol’s play from the Russian nineteenth-century province to the reality of Polish socialism of the 1970s. This created a bright political theatre, and the central theme was the degeneration of Polish society. In his gloomy, funny tone, full of disdain, Klata repeatedly referred to the reality of Poland in recent years.

The director is also a laureate of the prestigious Golden Yorick Award for the best Polish interpretation of Shakespeare’s works. The original and bold idea of transferring “King Lear” to Vatican dungeons has definitely paid off. Klata once again invited the audience to talk about an important social issue: spiritual power and the contemporary Church. In 2018 Klata received one of the most important European awards: European Theatre Award. The New Theatre Realities statuette was awarded for his setting new trends and creating a new language of theatre. Klata’s plays have long since ceased to be “just” novelties in the theatre industry, but an invitation to discuss the state of contemporary society.

Krzysztof Warlikowski

One of the most critical European theatre and opera directors. Erudite, stage provocateur and visionary. It sounds like a cliché, but he fully deserves that opinion. Warlikowski works mainly in Poland, but also performs on international stages, including France, Germany, Holland and Israel. His performances have been presented at the world’s most prestigious theatre festivals, including Avignon, the Next Wave Festival in New York and the TransAmériques Festival in Montreal. Peter Brook himself invited him to collaborate on the production of the opera. Warlikowski’s productions, far removed from journalism, describe the contemporary world insightfully and, at the same time, deeply penetrate the foundations of human existence. Using modern theatrical language, the director can show pain, despair, love, cruelty, rejection and great loneliness on stage in a very intimate way. So if you are looking for actual metaphysical experience, Warlikowski’s work will take you to a higher level of cognition.

Olga Tokarczuk

Tokarczuk is a trained psychologist, which gives a certain depth and sensitivity in her work. She published a collection of poems, novels, as well as shorter prose. Her most recognized book is Flights, for which she won the Nike Award, (Poland’s top literary prize). As well as the Man Booker International Prize. For promoting peace, democratic development and mutual understanding among the people and nations of Europe, Tokarczuk received the German-Polish International Bridge Prize. In 2019 she became the youngest Nobel-winning writer in Polish literature. It’s a big deal not only because of artistic recognition but also because Tokarczuk is the second woman from all 17 Nobel polish recipients. In 2016 Agnieszka Holland adapted Tokarczuk’s book (Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead) for movie Spoor which won a second prestigious award at 67th Berlin International Film Festival. She’s currently working on her new book which probably will become another hit. It’s quite obvious that she’s one of the top artists of today, all around the world. If you don’t follow her work, we strongly recommend doing so.

Szczepan Twardoch

Sociologist and philosopher by education. An expert in Silesian language and culture. In his work, he mainly deals with the issue of identification with the place of birth, but also with the theme of national identity: Polish, German, Silesian. His greatest artistic success is a balance. Balancing between real and fantastic, psychology and realism, authentic and alternative history, he creates stories that make us wonder who we are. Not yet forty years old, Twardoch was nominated and awarded the most prestigious literary awards in Poland. For his most famous novel Morphine, the writer received most of the industry awards of 2012 and was nominated for the European Literary Award Le Prix du Livre Européen. In October 2019, the cinematography for the series Canal+ based on his novel The King was completed. There is already a whisper about a potential nomination for the Nobel Prize in a dozen or so years. That is why Twardoch is a name that is clearly worth following.

Monika Brodka

She started with a stomp and a pop because at the age of 16 she won the third edition of the TV show “Idol”. Monika Brodka’s first album turned out to be a bestseller, which gave her more opportunities to experiment. In 2010 she released her third album Granda, which shocked polish music scene and media, naming her “a new face of Polish alternative wave”. “Granda” received critical acclaim both in Poland and abroad, and started a new chapter for the singer. She was nominated for “Fryderyki”, a top music award in Poland, as well as MTV Europe Music Awards in category “Best Polish act”. Her fourth and highly anticipated album Clashes premiered in 2016, simultaneously in Poland and Europe, receiving praise and universal acclaim. The recordings were recorded in Los Angeles by American musician and music producer Noah Georgeson. The album featured, among others, Stella Mozgawa (drummer of the American band Warpaint). Since then, Brodka career officially reached a new level. She’s just 31 and already on the road to worldwide success.

Dawid Podsiadło

In this point, you can call David Podsiadlo, a Polish musical sensation. Jus like Monika Brodka, he won a TV musical programme at the young age (19). Since then, he has taken the Polish music scene by storm. Each of his three albums was at the top of the charts. Eighteen times he was nominated for the highest music award “Fryderyk”, out of which he won twelve. A the end of 2019, Podsiadło sold a total of over 450 thousand records in Poland. A fun fact – he is only 26 years old. His last achievement is a sold-out concert at the National Stadium in Warsaw. No Polish artist of this age did it alone. It is difficult to say what is in these days and where it will go further because he’s on the very top. The most important thing is that despite the barrier of the Polish language, today he is the best music artist.

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