Report from painter Roman Opalka's home
Report from painter Roman Opalka's home, where he is painting his Details series: portrait and interview with the artist on his work.
Roman Opalka doesn't paint time, he has created it since 1965 by a monomaniacal piece, The Details, which is based on three elements: canvasses completely covered in arithmetic sequences that he enumerates in Polish and accompanies with his self-portrait photographed day after day, with the same frame, the same white shirt and the same expression. The numbers go all the way up on his ever-whiter paintings, while time does its work on his voice that became rougher and his face crisscrossed with wrinkles under thinning hair. An implacable composition for a philosophical piece which reminds man of his mortal condition, against all vanities. This use of his own body is close to body art, but his work doesn't have the violence of Orlan performances, the French Plasticien who denounces the diktats of beauty by transforming her body and her face by multiple operations.
Born in France in 1931 to Polish parents, Opalka and his family were exiled from their native country in 1940. Although not directly a victim of the Holocaust, the painter was strongly influenced by these events. At the end of the war, he returned to France, before being repatriated once more in Poland the following year. He definitively left the country in 1977 to live and work in France.