Zdzislaw Beksinski (* Sanok, 24 February 1929; † Warsaw, 21 February 2005) was a Polish artist, graphic artist, designer, sculptor and photographer. During the war, he attended an underground high school in his home town Sanok where he also learned to play the piano. After WWII he started to study architecture in Krakow.

Starting on 1959, he worked as a designer for a car factory for more than ten years. This one had been once founded by his great grandfather. There, he drafted prototypes for cars and minivans. His paintings, however, were more characterized by abstract shapes until he started studying and perfecting surrealism little by little. He explained that he liked to listen to classic music when he was painting.

Even photography was something which intrigued him. Black-and-white photos of people were his focus. With these works he also won many national and international awards. There’s

’s however something his interests have in common. And that is the way he depicts objects and models. He mostly twisted them or put them into strings. Everything seems very unnatural. It’s a whole of landscapes of destroyed visions and nightmarish worlds. In his drawings, he often depicted people during sexual intercourse. They embody sadism and masochism and are shown in twisted positions and distorted bodies, and spread spooky eroticism and aesthetic.

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One can really call his paintings “visions of hell”: barren, burned and spooky landscapes, which consist of no more than death and darkness. They are full of symbols, mystic signs and occultism. Beksinski loved eastern myths. His abstract sculptures were definitively no less scaring. Ribs of wire covered metals and sheets. He also started to build masks and reliefs.

He became famous for his surreal and almost disgusting, frightening art, but he also aroused a lot of criticism. Many of his companions left him. None of his works received a name, because his opinion was that the viewer has to think of a name in order to understand the work.

Beksinski was murdered by a young man, who had even been a friend of his family. He killed him with 17 knife thrusts on the night of February 22. The reason was Beksinski’s refusal to lend him money. His works were bequeathed to the museum of his beloved home town Sanok. Many legends coat his death and his works like bitter sweet icing.

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Image source: http://paintingart.ru/gallery/zdzislaw-beksinski.html?page=6