The paintings, which we see on “Soft Take-Offs” exhibition were not created during one painting session. Mary Wide Lake puts many layers of paint, creates complicate painting matter on canvas, blazed by next layers. The succeeding stages of painting remain on the canvas like travel photos gathered in folders on computer desktop. The painter consistently operates with large patches of color and graffiti convention, combining a synthetic, poster, stylized form with engaging, ironic narratives. The composition of paintings is precisely thought out, without any unnecessary details. What decides about the strength of Mary Wide Lake’s painting is the contrast between the strong form of easily recognizable formal idiom and the ironic and ambiguous content of stories told by the painter. Stylized form serves here to construct stories whose meaning and references should be found in the artist’s biography.
Mary Wide Lake’s painting is a seemingly trivial record of events, mindless snapshots, views from the window, portraits of friends, restaurant still lives and dilapidated vehicles. A crane observed from apartment on Bemowo and a fragment of sewerage on Bielany reveal technical smartness, the friends are beautiful, the desserts are appetizing and cars are always from another era. The models are people close to the author – friends, people to whom she is emotionally attached in some way. Landscapes painted by Mary Wide Lake are views from the windows of various rented apartments or even more intimate, imagined travels in Polish Fiat 125p or on a red bus. Behind the simplified form of colorful stains there is an attempt to assemble an own world out of the scraps of everyday life.
A recurring procedure is fun with fistance: some paintings are “views from window”, others are just “screen shots” of the computer desktop view. The smooth surface of the background makes the images devoid of spatial depth. The artist does not even try to delude, she consciously confronts us with the two-dimensional world, forcing us to enter a relation with objects shown on paintings. Thanks to this operation it is the distance, both physical and psychological is one of the key dimensions of Mary Wide Lake’s paintwork, in which the computer screen becomes a prop.