A book of portraits
with a difference, culled from a 2002–2018 photo archive
actors who resemble or actually even portray celebrities and public figures. Polish artist Piotr Uklański draws on a stock of hard and soft copies of “dirty” glossy men's magazines like Hustler
—as well as a plethora of meme culture material dumped on websites and blogs
In an age in which the dichotomy between signifier and signified has long since come apart at the seams, Uklański, in a dicey combination of criticality and media exploitation, subverts the original expectations of the traditional art-historical topos of portraiture. In this extreme—and extremely absurd—form of portraiture, Pornalikes
is hell bent on challenging conventional morality and the bounds of so-called good taste.
It shoves us willy-nilly into a postmodern hall of mirrors and trashy picture puzzles amid the morass of celebrity culture and neoliberal instrumentalization and commodification of the human body. It explores the pop-cultural tensions between sexual identity and exploitation, man and woman, fiction and reality, real biography and the story that comes out in the press. Delving into these dichotomies, Pornalikes
picks up where the cult series The Nazis
and Real Nazis
, also published by Edition Patrick Frey
, left off.
Piotr Uklański (born 1968 in Warsaw) as emerged on the New York art scene in the mid-90s with an emblematic artwork, the Untitled (Dance Floor)—a sculpture that integrates the legacy of minimalism with the blurring of art and entertainment that characterizes the current era.
Dividing his time between New York and Warsaw, Uklański has constructed a diverse body of work that exploits as many types of media (sculpture, photography, collage, performance, and film) as it promiscuously absorbs cultural references. His work has been internationally exhibited in various contexts including the Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, The 50th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia 2003, the 26th Sao Paolo Biennale 2004, Centre Pompidou in Paris, Ludwig Museum in Cologne, Kunsthalle Basel, Wiener Seccession, and Palazzo Grassi in Venice.