Agata di Masternak Explores The Boundaries Between Life And Death

Near-death experiences inspire London-based Polish artist Agata di Masternak to engage in conversation with her divine truth, which empowers her work as she explores the intimate boundaries between life and death.

Following a debilitating diagnosis at sixteen, painting became di Masternak’s instrument of relief, helping her redefine herself and escape the shadows of her illness. Over 22 years, she underwent 41 surgeries which roused her first series of works, Big Heads, a visual diary of self-discovery documenting her illness and healing process.

“I lost myself to find myself”

Agata di Masternak
Big Heads dyptych No 24, 153x265cm, oil, wax, encaustic,plasticine, acrylic warnish on canvas , 2020

Big Heads are large-scale paintings illustrating di Masternak’s illness through numerous surgeries and extensive treatment, unveiling her identity transformation. Through a myriad of overlaid faces concocted gestural strokes across the canvas, stressed with tapestry, wool, plasticine, and paint scrawled by charcoal marking, each face is an intense statement to di Masternak’s trauma and rebirth.

Big Heads dyptych No 25 153x265cm
oil wax encaustic plasticine acrylic warnish on canvas 2020

Currently, di Masternak is working on a new series titled Out of Body. In this series, she explores the unity of human connections and how we may feel disconnected from one another, creating a sensory experience through streaking colour fields across a silk backdrop striped with embroidery.

She will be exhibiting her IDentity project at the Holocaust Memorial Centre, the Zekelman Famiky Wing in Michigan in 2024.

©2022 Agata di Masternak