Photography by Tomasz Sobecki

It is said that photography records the image of reality most faithfully. In fact, entire decades tried to thoroughly question this view on the ground of photography; however, in a certain general scope, the view remains valid. To this very canon, I would like to appeal, when analyzing the specificity of Sobecki's means of photographic expression.

The visible reality has got this specific feature, since it carries a hidden but frequently revealed, in a symbolical or allusive way, picture of the invisible reality, of what is unseen. It depends on human sensitivity and spiritual affection to what extend and how can one perceive the picture of the unseen in the visible world. Therefore, photography as a recording of the visible reality, may according to the photographer's spiritual capacities, become simultaneously the most effective medium of discovering the manifestation of a reality of a different order, the spiritual order. Here, we deal with the  problem of metaphysics in art. In other fields of art, especially in painting, the metaphysical experience hardly finds the artistic means of expression. The history of the last centuries portrayed frequent defeats and rather rare successes in this field of creativity.
A constantly returning subject of the conflict between the purely pictorial qualities and the metaphysical vision appears. Comparing the conflict with the situation predominant in the photographic field, one may come to a conclusion that, paradoxically, the conflict between what stands for the representation of strictly artistic qualities in photography and the conveyance of the metaphysical contents does not exist.

The manifestation of the unseen presence through the lens of a camera became the essence of Tomasz Sobecki's photographic output. The sphere of the invisible: the spiritual sphere, the world of the mysticism, religious contents and the transcendental perspective, is revealed through the specific emotional atmosphere, which penetrates the photograph's composition. It is also revealed through the particular signs and symbols which are registered within the photographic composition.
An important factor in our reflections is the fact that revealing the metaphysical contents in painting, or other works of art, is achieved in an arbitrary and facultative way; marked out by the creative subjective seal of the author's imagination. Meanwhile, the artist using the photographic medium, relates to far more objectified manifestations of reality, also in the transcendental dimension.

Nowadays, it is hard to find a creation which would be more profound and thoroughly religious. I am talking both about the field of photography, the possibilities of which lie dormant in this domain, and the other spheres of artistic creativity.

At the same time, Sobecki's works constitute a substantial manifestation of two ideas: the identity of Good, understood as a part of the soul, and Beauty, the principle characteristic for the Christian thought and philosophy, the theory of aesthetics and quality. In fact, it is all about the classic triad of the Truth, Good and Beauty; however, in the case of the discussed artistic creativity, the topic of the two initial terms appears to be identical and fully encapsulated in the idea of Good, which we examine in relation to Beauty.

The presence of Beauty imposes itself in Sobecki's photograms as their extremely essential element and in numerous cases, their dominant factor. The phenomenon is realized mainly through the aesthetic susceptibility, close to the impressionistic sensitivity for the texture and color values of the form and, what is more, for the light impact. The topic of light's presence reveals itself as the most significant factor of the Unknown's presence. Light is the sign of God's existence, light marks the metaphysical dimension of life, light also decides about the symbolical expression of objects from the so called everyday life, and finally, light is the changeability factor and in the consequence, the substance of the artistic expression's drama. Most of all, it is the principle of light, which determines the wholeness of the innate and the miraculous, the element that has its beginnings both in God and in a human being, it constitutes the link between them. Finally, it is something compatible with the essence of the photographic métier; it emerges in a direct way and constitutes another factor which predisposes photography in a particular way: as the art which seizes mostly the unseen, the thing that is beyond and above the object.

Wojciech Skrodzki – 1987

P.S. The tape-script was written down on the basis of a hardly readable manuscript (in pencil). As such, it may include minor inaccuracies. – T.S.