string art

This String Artist Wants to Take You to Outer Space

Meet the Polish artist who uses strings to dive into the depths of outer space.
June 14, 2017, 4:59pm
Images courtesy of the artist.

The mysteries of space and the depths of the uncharted cosmos inspire string artist Przemysław Podolski. The Polish-based artist uses his curiosity to fuel a spectacular collection of string art that questions our relationship with outer space and how we approach it.

Podolski first became interested in the universe beyond our world when he was five years old, collecting stamps of Soviet space probes. The infatuation continued with him throughout his academic career, studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow. But four years ago, the visual artist finally tapped into his lifelong muse in order to use his art to combine his enthusiastic interest with his trained talent, creating art under the name "DecodetheCode" and aspiring to make people reflect deeper about looking to space as "a real existence, which in the future will become our home." The artist's work is as detailed and upfront as his motives.

Podolski uses dark-painted templates, often plywood boards, and fastens pins into the surface of the backdrop, creating a map for his strings to wrap around the prongs. Afterwards, he winds colorful string around each pin, creating a kaleidoscopic whirl of patterns that replicate specific stars in space. The contrast between the blackened board and the explosion of color in the strings creates a vast landscape that starkly places focus on the gas-giant subjects.

"I often use symmetrical and regular forms in my string art works," says Podolski, explaining that although the vast majority of humans have never experienced space that it's something our minds can ponder. "In our view, the universe seems endless and hazy. We cannot order it yet. As we continue to explore its nature, it becomes more obvious to us and friendly. With my artwork, I would like to say that such order exists."

Other times, Podolski winds his string around forts that people can sit inside and look at from below, just like looking up at the stars. Luminescent lights and darkened rooms place the entire space's focus on Podolski's work, representing the shining figures of planets and stars above Earth. Podolski's work is orderly, mimicking the pattern-like atmosphere that spatters across space and within each star—in the artist's intention, familiarizing the frightening and enormous figures beyond our reality. The specific planning behind string art also allows Podolski to uniquely target the details he wants viewers to take out from his work.

"The string art technique allows me to visualize a certain concept of a form in expanse," Podolski says. "It gives shape a specific structure. UV light sensitive materials, used by me, give you the ability to concentrate senses only on the form. Then the whole environment that dissipates the senses disappears."

Through sensitivity numbing, Podolski aims to open a galactic door to space for those viewing his work, transitioning human focus from this world towards another. All this, Podolski says, to get people thinking of what's next for our universe.

"Our sensitivity must be focused on our future home-space," Podolski says. "We should accept the extraterrestrial nature of our existence in the future." See more of the works below.

You can see more of Przemysław Podolski's work under "DecodetheCode" here.

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