The Skin I Have Been Living In
Mokulito-Lithography on the Wood of Ewa Budka (Budkalito)
When the human body is cut, the skin begins a new story: a story of the past, pain, restoration, memory, and the scar. This story is a universal lesson of pure reality. Budka illuminates these stories by replacing the cold, lifeless lithographer’s stone with swelling, breathing wood—wood that already has its own life story embedded within its grain. The wood absorbs Budka’s drawings and incantations forming an emotive picture of primal instincts, a cosmos of natural reactions— pain, frustration, animality, sexuality and love. But it is the skin that tells the body’s story. In Budka’s work the wood is the body and the paper becomes the skin that retains and maps the imprint of affectivity within the matrix of its own cellular structure.
Pioneering an Earth-friendly approach to the lithographic process, the alchemy of Mokulito allows Ewa to substitute water for chemicals. While printer’s ink sticks to the applied oil-based mediums (crayons, markers, pencils, and paint) water repels the ink from the untouched areas of the wood body keeping the original image intact for multiple printings and further manipulation.
Ewa Budka is a Master printmaker and fashion model. She graduated in May 2013 from the Department of Graphic Art and Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw with the Rector’s honors. Hoffman LaChance Contemporary is proud to host her show “The Skin I Have Been Living In” while she fulfills her residency at Paul Art Space.
Text provided by Chris Smentkowski, curator for Polish Arts and Culture in St. Louis, Missouri