bbo Blog Glass Guerrilla – the first fire!
By  Beata Bochińska

Glass Guerrilla – the first fire!

I am wri­ting ano­ther book. No more hiding. I dec­la­re to all and that’s all to feel obli­ged and moti­va­ted to eve­ry­day work in the field of wri­ting (God, it is so hard some­ti­mes!). The book will be abo­ut people and things, that is desi­gn fre­aks. Tho­se most inte­re­sting. Uni­que.

I’ve made a deci­sion, that such secon­da­ry topics as “some­thing by the way and gene­ral­ly a bit asi­de” will show up here – for the most seaso­ned and nice­st readers. A lit­tle wri­ting back­sta­ge.
Only most deli­cio­us bites that pro­ba­bly won’t make to the book…

One chap­ter howe­ver for sure will be dedi­ca­te to a com­ple­te­ly impro­per man. An extra­or­di­na­ry per­son: talen­ted as hell and feisty as the saints… Wie­sław Kry­siak. Gra­du­ate of Aca­de­my of Fine Arts in Wro­cław pro­mo­ted by Pro­fes­sor Sta­ni­sław Daw­ski – as all them glass desi­gners.
Total arti­st.

Wie­sław was a fre­ak but in the best meaning of the term. When I met him, and I was only
24 years old then, he has offe­red me to co-run a gal­le­ry! As he said “she has power that lit­tle one from art histo­ry, hard-wor­king and wil­ling as hell – what is rare for a the­ore­ti­cian at a uni­ver­si­ty…” And so I’ve beco­me a part­ner in an art gal­le­ry! Ful­ly-fled­ged :) befo­re my diplo­ma!


The histo­ry of our coope­ra­tion was tru­ly incre­di­ble, ope­ning one exhi­bi­tion after ano­ther,
but what was most inte­re­sting was the tra­vel­ling. Thanks to Wie­siek I have met tens of desi­gner from vario­us fields. All influ­en­cers. God, what conver­sa­tions, what memo­ries! And I’ve made up my mind to wri­te my Master’s the­sis at the este­emed Insti­tu­te of Art Histo­ry, Uni­ver­si­ty
of War­saw enti­tled: “Glass Guer­ril­la” – let me tell you, only some­one at that age and with high risk thre­shold could’ve tho­ught of some­thing like this! I wro­te abo­ut desi­gns that desi­gners made with glass-wor­kers after hours, under the table and then took them abro­ad in the­ir car trunks and sold to gal­le­ries in Amster­dam, Stoc­kholm and Lon­don. None has ever spo­ken abo­ut the phe­no­me­non as it was all ille­gal…

I’ve cau­sed a mild scan­dal as fir­st, none knew who sho­uld pro­mo­te my the­sis. Indu­sti­ral desi­gn was not tau­ght at the uni­ver­si­ty as part of art histo­ry clas­ses. Second, I alre­ady had my own TV show abo­ut the phe­no­me­non, toge­ther with a ready exhi­bi­tion and its cata­lo­gue… so I went to Pro­fes­sor Maria Poprzęc­ka and asked her bol­dly whe­ther they could be parts of my diplo­ma and that I o f cour­se under­stand that the respec­ted com­mis­sion sho­uld pro­ba­bly see the exhi­bi­tion live so I am wil­ling to show it in War­saw and that I’ve even began tal­king with the Insti­tu­te
of Indu­strial Desi­gn…

Pro­fes­sor Poprzęc­ka, the direc­tor of the Insti­tu­te at the time stay­ed in cold blo­od. She did not throw me out of her offi­ce for the coc­ki­ness. So far it was con­ce­ived howe­ver, that you have to defend your the­sis and to be bel­ted as an art histo­rian befo­re you can exhi­bit any­thing and not as a cura­tor from the very begin­ning… But well, “sooner said than done” and I got the per­mis­sion for my the­sis. My pro­mo­ter was Pro­fes­sor Anna Sie­radz­ka, spe­cia­li­st of func­tio­nal art and
Art Deco. Eve­ry­one invo­lved took the risk but they agre­ed, asto­ni­shed by the bra­sh­ness of a young girl.

Thanks to Wie­siek, who has ope­ned me the doors to incre­di­ble people, I have col­lec­ted rari­ties in War­saw. It would be eno­ugh to say that I’ve shown glass by Mał­go­rza­ta Dajew­ska, Bar­ba­ra Misz­czyk, Janu­sz Kaza­nec­ki, Ludwik Kiczu­ra, Mariu­sz Łabiń­ski, Kazi­mie­rz Paw­lak, Sta­ni­sław Borow­ski and many others, all fir­st names of the Poli­sh glass.

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The big­ge­st sur­pri­se was built of neon – in a dark room – gla­zier oven in the Insti­tu­te of Indu­strial Desi­gn, and spe­aking on behalf of arti­sts Sta­ni­sław Borowski’s San Fran­ci­sco agent cau­sed a real sen­sa­tion. He sold Borowski’s objects for ten tho­usands of dol­lars and he calm­ly said that the exhi­bi­tion is on a world level and he sim­ply had to be the­re… Pro­fes­sors Paweł Banaś, Anto­ni Zię­ba, Tade­usz Jaro­szew­ski, Anna Sie­radz­ka and Ire­na Huml made the guest list com­ple­te.

Upper cru­st of art histo­ry from a few cities. The exhi­bi­tion was acc­la­imed the best exhi­bi­tion
of the year by the Mini­stry of Cul­tu­re and went to the USA and Mexi­co invi­ted by museums and world’s big­ge­st asso­cia­tion of glass arti­sts. Of cour­se, the same as for its pro­duc­tion, I had to gain the spon­sors and money myself… Now I think that I had more luck than sen­se to have met such a talen­ted and open-min­ded (even for my unre­ali­stic ide­as) arti­st that Wie­sław Kry­siak was. And becau­se of that you will sure­ly read abo­ut his work and accom­pli­sh­ments a few sto­ries as such fre­aks and expe­ri­men­ta­li­sts are needed in a hand­ful and the­ir bio­gra­phies and achie­ve­ments have to per­pe­tu­ated!

That is how the youn­ger gene­ra­tion pays off its debt to the elder one :)