Michał Załuski, /born in 1975/, in the museum and art community simply called "Misiek". He is a graduate of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Maria Curie-Skłodowska in Lublin. A man of many talents and passions; painter, graphic artist, photographer. He is passionate about computer graphics, to which he devotes a lot of time, he experiments in the field of animation, and he is interested in new media. He loves nature and has great respect for it. He is active in many areas; an avid mountain hiker, cyclist, cross-country skier, kayaker and traveler. He is also a very open and friendly person by nature. Every contact with Michał is always an optimistic moment. Will contact with his artistic work give us the same feeling? Undoubtedly, this relationship will require the recipient's involvement not only in empathy, but also intellect. Michał grew up in an ethnographic and artistic atmosphere. He is the son of the controversial artist Albert Załuski (1943 - 2018), and the famous ethnographer Maria Brylak-Załuska, co-creator of the open-air museum in Nowy Sącz, where little "Misiek" spent a lot of time as a child, which certainly influenced the development of his respectful attitude. attitude towards nature and folk culture.
The cultural life of the country in the 1970s and early 1980s, when Michał was a child, was characterized by the creation, outside the centers of large cities, of informal, small but independent artistic communities, carrying out interesting activities in the sphere of culture, regardless of the official line adopted by the authorities. The young museum and artistic community of Nowy Sącz at that time, full of enthusiasm and energy, to which Michał Załuski's parents also belonged, created just such a small bohemian community in Nowy Sącz, in the atmosphere of which Michał grew and developed his sensitivity, not only his artistic one. Albert Załuski's apartment and studio were adjacent to the studios of other artistic individuals, including Bernard Wójcik and Nina Płonka. These places were visited by many extraordinary people, to mention only Wanda Rutkiewicz, whose visit to the studio of the painter and alpinist Bernard Wójcik, Michał remembered well /if only because he sat on the lap of the famous mountaineer/.
Załuski is very emotionally attached to Nowy Sącz, especially to the area of the city located on the Dunajec River, where he grew up and lives to this day, but when talking about his roots, he always recalls his borderland origins; his father came to the town on the Dunajec River from Roztocze, and his mother, Maria Załuska, was born in Lviv. Lviv traditions were carefully cultivated in the family by grandfather Tadeusz Brylak, who was a great authority for Michał. Załuski is a perfectionist, both in his work and in his professional work. He prepares seriously for each artistic project. He works on the work for a long time, but infallibly. Sometimes he stops working on a painting, sometimes even putting it aside for several years, waiting for the final concept of the work to crystallize. He is also not very willing to part with his paintings. He paints based on previously noted, sometimes very loose, ideas. He always has a notebook with him, in which he spontaneously, in different places and times, makes preliminary sketches of his works. As he says, this is how he "notes" his ideas, observations and experiences. In the sketchbook, he also meticulously writes down the places, dates, and even hours of making the sketch, and even just the idea for the painting. This knowledge then makes it easier for him to paint, and facilitates his psychological return to the situation in which the concept of the painting was born. He calls some unusual places or just fragments of space that fascinate him "living pictures". He keeps sketchbooks for a very long time, sometimes after many years he returns to old ideas, transforming drawing concepts from years ago into paintings. The older works presented at the exhibition, some dating back to my student days, were painted with oil paints or a combined oil and acrylic technique. For several years, for purely practical reasons, he has only used acrylic paints. He paints using a layered technique, he likes to use contrasting colors and glaze them.
Załuski, as an artist, certainly has one thing in common with Nikifor - his admiration for architecture, both as art and the technological perfection it contains. And like Nikifor, whom the legendary director of the Nowy Sącz museum, Tadeusz Szczepanek, called "the poet of architecture", Załuski strives to express this fascination in art. Many of "Miśek's" works bring to mind associations with architectural structures. When he finished his studies, he even wrote a very interesting master's thesis on architecture in Nikifor's work. This valuable work, once published, would certainly be a valuable item in the bibliography about Nikifor. The exhibition of M. Załuski's works at the Nikifor Museum has a special meaning. As a computer graphic designer, he has been designing almost all prints for the museum for over a dozen years, such as: posters, invitations to vernissages, exhibition folders. He has produced several dozen artistically excellent works in this field. Selected of them were displayed at the exhibition in a showcase. However, Załuski's fascination with Nikifor's work has an older origin and dates back to his childhood. You could even say that the future artist grew up close to Nikifor's paintings. Before the opening of the Museum in Krynica, Nikifor's paintings were presented for many years on a permanent exhibition in the Gothic House in Nowy Sącz, where little Michał liked to spend hours. And as we know, Nikifor's paintings, combined with information about the painter's life, appeal to children's sensitivity in a special way.
It is worth adding that Załuski has been strongly influenced by the fantasy literature of Stanisław Lem, an outstanding writer also from Lviv, since his boyhood. Photography is Michał's second artistic passion, to which he has been faithful since childhood. He has been taking photographs since he was about 10 years old, he took his first photos with "Smiena", which he received as a gift from his mother, and his master in this field was his cousin Maciek, a student of art history at the Catholic University of Lublin, who began to take photography professionally. With Maciek, he even learned the secrets of working in a photographic darkroom. Later, knowledge of photography
he completed classes during his studies. He took his first photos on traditional 35mm black and white film. He likes artistic experiments, so after years of practicing digital photography, in 2016 he returned to black and white negative photography. He likes photographing nature the most, he practices macro photography, but he also finds fulfillment in preparing his own photo reports from cultural and sports events. As an artist, he is not afraid of challenges. He performed, among others: a series of photos for the catalog of the exhibition of the young, controversial painter Kamila Ossowska from Łódź, which was presented at the Mała Gallery in Nowy Sącz in 2022. His dream is to engage in astrophotography in the future, i.e. taking night photos of the sky.
"Misiek" tries to translate his actions, even small ones, into something good for others. For this purpose, for example, in his younger years, he participated enthusiastically in many-kilometer marches every year, in which each step taken by the participant had a tangible impact on the amount raised by the organizers from sponsors for charity. In his free time, he is a musician and drummer, loves jazz, and is also an avid "inventor" - a trait inherited from his father, Alek Załuski, famous for his passion for carpentry and all kinds of "tinkering". Only close friends know that Michał, despite his deeply humanistic thinking, is also a great enthusiast and expert in Formula 1 car racing. He knows the secrets of all F 1 racing "stables" in surprising detail.
Załuski has a character trait that is "unfashionable" these days - he can always be himself. He does his thing without seeking applause. He is a member of the Association of Polish Artists, valued in the community of professional artists in Nowy Sącz, which was reflected in the awarding of the Award to him in 2017. Bolesław Barbacki. A difficult experience in Michał's life, which must also have had an impact on his work, was the premature death of his beloved sister Katarzyna /1973 - 2011/, a film expert, who from an early age was a consultant and the first reviewer of his artistic projects. Art lovers who like to assign artists to schools and directions of their own invention would have quite a problem with Załuski. Due to his "male" age, he should be considered a mature artist who steadily follows an artistic path developed over the years of practicing art. However, those who know him better know that any routine, including artistic one, is alien to his nature. Załuski loves to experiment. At the same time, one may sometimes get the impression that what matters more to the creator is the moment of the artistic experiment itself, rather than its final effect or recognition in the eyes of the mass audience.