Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sensation Modern Fine Art Gallery Group Exhibition - Julius Lewandowski artwork review by DIVA magazine

"You have great breasts!" And so began my introduction to the (charmingly perceptive) Julius Lewandowski - an artist whose work shocks almost as much as his extravagant persona. Currently displayed in the basement of Sophie Dare's newly-opened Sensation Modern Gallery, the door sign warns: explicit material inside. Of course, it is the busiest part of the gallery.

Notting Hill is delightful on the eve of the private view: leafy, lazy and summery enough to dawdle and soak up the architecture of some of London's most coveted and expensive buildings. I have an ungenerous hunch that the walk may prove more aesthetically stimulating than the exhibition. I'm wrong.

Lewandowski draws upon a host of familiar references, yet he creates images undeniably his own. Burra receives homage and Eastern painters like Utamaro provide inspiration for at least one gorgeous, glitzy purple scene. It's all rather fun, confident and naughty - like the best sex.

"I'm obsessed with sex!" Lewandowski insists with a thick Polish accent, before informing me that he was not born physically male. I ask if his gender identity holds him back: "I was afraid that nobody would accept me," he reveals, adding: "But I don't want to be closed into one community. For me it's important to go and mix with other people and show then that we are happy and noble and that we can do some interesting stuff."

He tells me that an ex-girlfriend, a trans woman, was his long-time muse. Turning to the wall, I see that many of the faces are indeed variations of the same person, a beautiful woman with just the slightest hint of a male past. An unexpectedly sentimental touch.

Every piece has a particular boldness; he paints with self-assured and precise vision. If his works are a little on the small side, well, he's young, and grander pieces must surely be on the way as his career progresses.

Orgies, bestiality, dismembered bodies... Lewandowski's pieces visit the physical; all beautifully rendered and unique stylish. One highlight shows a couple in flagrante delicto, expressed though a spectrum of blue which should really suggest a cadaverousness: in fact they are full of life and warmth. Another details a man, cobalt and contorted with pleasure, orally stimulating himself. You wonder if your mum would like it.

"I paint things which make people uncomfortable sometimes, but I make it so beautiful that it is acceptable," he tells me, and I agree it would be hard for even the stuffiest of critics not to be charmed on some level.

Cerulean, beryl, azure... anyone with an appreciation for blue should love his work, though it is frequently offset by hot pinks and dusky reds; a strong nod towards Picasso and, one supposes, the gender binary. It certainly doesn't indicate conservatism.

Lewandowski has the charisma demanded of any great artist, coupled with true creative talent. Expect to see him hanging from the walls of your more outrageous acquaintances... if not on canvas, in person.

International Artists Group Exhibition
Sensation Modern Fine Art
2-16 June 2011,  by appointment only (please call Sophie Dare on 07528 333 884)


  1. Dear artists and art lovers.
    Attention! You may be deceived by the swindler Sophie Dare - site:
    I been deceived and they do not return to me my 7 paintings.
    I want to warn you of the danger. And Do not let the that deceive you!!

    My name is Valery Rybakow. You can see my painting of the fraud site: 20Rybakow

    Swindler Sophie Dare tricked not only me. Few artists can not return their painting.
    All the necessary original documents I can show you - is proof of my words.

    I decided to warn you of the danger of losing their painting. You too can become a victim of the swindler Sophie Dare.
    Sincerely Artist Valery Rybakow - Gallery


  2. Dear Mr Lewandowski

    I am a anthropology professor about to publish a voluminous work, printed and on e-books entitled; The Sex, The Illustrated History. It encompasses human sexual history though time and all cultures where sexual information is available. Each volume will contain over 300 photos so I cannot possibly purchase illustrations. I would like to use several of your illustrations in the third "Modern " volume.? I can list your site for commercial contact and you would be contributing to the art world.

    It would be excellent advertising for your site if I credit each photo I use by naming your website! The book will also have a web site where we can be linked for your advertising. If you are willing to give me permission or refer me to the artist then please let me know how you would like your site credited?
    John R. Gregg, Professor,