Jacek Yerka bigraphy, stories - Polish painter

Jacek Yerka : biography

1952 -

Jacek Yerka is a Polish painter from Toruń. Yerka's work has been exhibited in Poland, Germany, Monaco, France, and the United States, and may be found in the museums of Poland.


  • World Fantasy Award for Best Artist, 1995
  • Awarded an honorary paver placard by the city of Toruń, June 24, 2008

Life as an Artist

Yerka began working full-time as an artist in 1980. He had several contracts with gallaries in Warsaw and also worked for commissions."www.Yerkaland.com/bio_en.php","Jacek Yerka by himself", paragraph 12,01/2012 He cites Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Bruegel, Cagliostro, Jan van Eyck, and Hugo van der Goes as formative influencers of his work. His subject matter ranges from odd beasts to whimsical landscapes incorporating extraordinary architecture, and include imagery gleamed from his childhood, such as his grandmothers kitchen. Says Yerka, "For me, the 1950s were a kind of Golden Age ... If I were, for instance, to paint a computer, it would definitely have a pre-war aesthetic to it."

In 1990, Yerka received a contract with Hollywood producer Renee Daalder to design figures, monster-machines and surreal landscapes for the science fiction film Strawberry fields. The film planned to combine both Yerka's work with songs from the Beatles and Yerka participated in the first stage of its production."www.Yerkaland.com/bio_en.php","Jacek Yerka by himself", paragraph 13,01/2012 Work typically progresses from a graphite sketch, to crayon drawing, then a pastel com, and finally an acrylic painting."www.Yerkaland.com/about.php","How do I make my paintings", paragraph 4,01/2012

Early life

Jacek Yerka was born in Toruń, Poland, in 1952. He was born into an artistic family with both his parents graduates from a local Fine Art Academy."www.Yerkaland.com/bio_en.php","Jacek Yerka by himself", paragraph 1,01/2012 His earliest memories were of paints, inks, paper, rubbers and brushes. As a child, Yerka loved to draw and make sculptures. He hated playing outside, and preferred to sit down with a pencil, creating and exploring his own world."www.Yerkaland.com/bio_en.php","Jacek Yerka by himself", paragraph 4,01/2012 This difference between the other children in his primary school led to social problems with his peers and Yerka describes his primary school life as being a "grey, sometimes horrifying reality"."www.Yerkaland.com/bio_en.php","Jacek Yerka by himself", paragraph 5,01/2012 However, Yerka later became 'untouchable' in his high school due to his clever sketches of the school's worst bullies."www.Yerkaland.com/bio_en.php","Jacek Yerka by himself", paragraph 6,01/2012

Life in the Academy

Yerka had never intended to be an artist like his parents and was considering doing astronomy or medicine. However, a year before his final exam, he decided for the first time to try working with paint,"www.Yerkaland.com/bio_en.php","Jacek Yerka by himself", paragraph 7,01/2012 which resulted in his decision to study fine art and graphic design instead. According to Yerka, during his period studying in the academy he was pressured by his instructors to eschew detail and realism in favor of the fashion of the times - but did not relent, adhering to the meticulous classic Flemish technique that still typifies his work. In time they came to see him as a brilliant - though troubled -talent."www.Yerkaland.com/bio_en.php","About the Artist",01/2012

During his studies at the Academy, each day was split into two sections. In the morning and afternoon he had to do tests, projects and attend lectures, and during the evening he was given a couple hours to work at a painting that was shown only to his family and friends."www.Yerkaland.com/bio_en.php","Jacek Yerka by himself", paragraph 9,01/2012 He graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, specializing in printmaking.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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