Interview with myself

IndyStyle, my short interview

September 2011
Something Different – CBS Interview

by Katarzyna Buczkowska

The visions captured in his photographs are often drawn from the streets of Manhattan – material that stirs Slawek’s senses, on a Shakespearean stage. Chasing light, he arrests in his frames the kinetic energy of the space, in which passers-by, buildings, automobiles, in optic illusions, conflate into rhapsodic compositions. Read more

by Christine Schrum, October 2013

Today’s SPECTRUM Spotlight shines on Slawek (full name: Stanislaw Goc), who joins us from Indianapolis to share his intriguing urban photography. All that I, in fact, do is draft notes with a camera. My camera interprets Pop Art, which originated in America many years ago and is dominant today our streets, stores, and even our homes. Indeed, Slawek’s photos offer glimpses into compelling scenes we might not notice as we rush by in our busy days. In storefront reflections like the photo above, for instance, Slawek has discovered a world of fascinating stories. In fact, he has created an entire series of Reflections based on this theme. I was always fascinated by the reflections that can be seen in a store display windows since reflections are not only what the eye sees, but also what mind perceives. Is it a woman or just suggestion of beauty in our life? Is it only a dream or reality? Born in Warsaw, Poland, Slawek worked in theater and film in Europe before following his wife, a biochemist, to the US. The couple settled in indianapolis, where they’ve been living for over a decade. He has exhibited his photography widely throughout the US and has been reviewed in numerous publications. Here’s what Peter Marr of Image City Gallery has to say about Slawek’s work: “Reflections are not only what the eye sees, but what the mind perceives. When we see in the present, we also reflect on thing past. We listen to the voice of our heart, but our thoughts are very personal and not universal”.

Aug./Sept. 2008 review by Peter Marr

This memorable exhibition is a truly fascinating study of reflections, by an artist who has amazing visual perception and masterful photographic technique. Reflections are not only what the eye sees, but what the mind perceives. When we see in the present, we also reflect on thing past. We listen to the voice of our heart, but our thoughts are very personal and not universal. One should look at each image and explore both visually and emotionally what it means or conveys to you. At first glance, we are looking at reflected images of cityscapes, people, vehicles, etc., captured as three dimensional vignettes with thought-provoking “icons” in store windows or other reflecting surfaces. These “icons”, be they mannequins, models, posters, photographs, cut-outs, or even real people, present the real fascination in this intriguing exhibition. What I see is a reality check. The reality of the reflected background image is factual to us, and we accept the visual distortion that often results, whereas the reality of the image behind the glass (i.e. inside the store window) provides a sharp contrast, as another world observing.  It seems that we can follow at least three paths in our reality check of each print, paths that can definitely overlap. Firstly, we can just admire the picture just as it is presented, and I hope that we will do this for every print, as they are so deserve. Secondly, we can try and relate the image in the window with the reflected image outside, and thirdly, we can explore the image behind the window itself, and perhaps ask ourselves if the magic mirror is disclosing otherwise unseen truths. I personally believe that we are not looking at real people or parts of real people as reflected images, we are experiencing actual images of people in photographs, posters, cut-outs, etc., as real as they often seem. What we see in the unique outstanding display are countless thought provoking images. There are countless, memorable images in this exhibition, far too numerous to comment on here, but especially look at the prints that have facial close-ups, culminating in the very dramatic print “Reflections – Her Ego”, displayed just inside the gallery entrance.  The eye is so very real, although it is on a print, peering into our reality, into our thoughts, into our minds.

I would just like to point out that in addition to the exquisite reflection images, there are a few excellent portraits, and in the East Gallery, please make a special visit to see three reflection prints- “Light 1” 2 and 3, where the artist has cleverly captured the fleeting light to form a cross, which culminates in a plate with the carved head of Christ in the center – just incredible symbolism. In conclusion I sincerely applaud Stanislaw for giving us such a truly memorable exhibition. “Reflections” is a display to experience, to visually and mentally absorb, and to marvel at his visual perception.

Rochester, NY, Art – Kestry,
September 2011, just review

Also, Stanislaw Goc’s fine work caught my eye. His pieces, “printed” on a large aluminum plate, are reminiscent of the Bauhaus era, where different realities and dimensions are confined to the boundaries of one image. Goc’s reverie-like prints are sophisticated and energize the space that they occupy.
Yours truly,

visual art review by Dan Grossman

 Polish-born photographer Slawek is fascinated by the kinds of reflections that you find in shop windows — and the kind you find in your own head. In “Polish Dilemma 1: Castle 1” two manikins in a shop window in Warsaw, Poland, are superimposed with the reflection of a castle. But this particular castle isn’t the ordinary European variety. Constructed under Stalin’s hegemony, it was intended to rival New York’s skyscrapers. This photo alludes to the conflict between East and West but suggests that “the Polish Dilemma” is too complex to nutshell. His most stunning photo is one that doesn’t entirely avoid didacticism, however. The sepia-toned “Lost in Manhattan 1” shows two gravestones topped by twin statues with the Twin Towers standing in the distance. It’s impossible to reflect on this photo (taken with a compact film camera and then digitally enhanced) without thinking about what happened subsequent to its taking. Through July 31;

Dec. 2010, By Megan Schipp / Assistant A&E Editor

Captured within the layers of mirrored images in store front windows, artist Slawek’s “Reflections: All About Sex” displays photographs far from the present day perception of sex. The pictures freeze the rooting of the term as it’s defined in different stages of life, telling a story about the growth from girl to woman.

“Let us look together from the point of view of a young girl as she progresses to womanhood,” Slawek said on his website. “Creatively defining the meaning of the word “sex” in a young woman’s life.”

Slawek’s exhibit begins with “All About Sex 1: Beauty” in which a young  girl  is caught adolescently sticking her tongue out at the camera. The works are numbered, but they are not followed in order. Slawek illustrates the girl’s development as he captures the first tests of self-exploration, such as tobacco use, in photographs seven and eight. Soon, she’s buying her first dress, getting her first job and attending her first dance. The observer grows up with the female character.

“Angel in Blue” marks the end of adolescene when the girl enters, for some, life’s next phase: sex, drugs and rock ‘n’roll. A feeling of unease takes over while the character begins to lose control in “Ecstasy.”

With a mirrored image of what could be a brick apartment building in the photo, one may begin to understand the emotions behind the girl’s hidden eyes covered by disheveled blonde hair, given away only by the exhausted expression on her lips. Toying with creativity, Slawek presents stages of sexual “obsession” and “desire,”  as well as possible homosexual activity in his ongoing attempt to define “sex.”

The soap opera continues as the girl reveals her sensual curves while slowly undressing herself by a window in “Being Framed.”  A white house built along the side of a road is reflected in the picture, giving viewers the feeling of witnessing the affair firsthand. The girl-to-woman gap comes to an end when the character finds herself in “Her Style” and prepares for the next stage of her life in “Wife.” Here the reflections dive deep into the woman’s mind. The photograph displays a well-dressed mannequin standing in front of a seductive poster in a store window. Peering out into the street, the advertisement’s model proves money can buy love as her eyes lust after the BRINKS armored vehicle, stopped within the window’s view. Slawek is known most for his passion to mix the new with the old, something that recently caused a disagreement in a Zionsville art gallery. Gallery Board members removed the word “sex” from his exhibits.

“Men have given this great discovery a childish association with pornography,” Slawek said. But the exhibit was far from that.

“I loved the exhibit’s story,” junior Tara Harworth said. “At first glance you don’t always notice the hidden ‘sex’ aspects of the picture. But once you look into the layers,  you begin to understand the story behind it. Sexual references have been used in art for forever.
I just saw it as part of the art.”
by Marcia Ellett

Looking at the world through a camera lens sometimes reveals a perspective or a secret one doesn’t see with the naked eye. Discovering these gems, these visual stories, is a passion for artistic photographer Stanislaw Goc, otherwise known as Slawek, a native of Warsaw, Poland, turned Indianapolis resident. With a background of working in theater and film in Europe, Slawek followed his wife, Krystyna Goc-Szkutnicka, to the U.S. She was a biochemist working for the University of New York and eventually took a job with a company that was purchased by Roche Diagnostics, which brought the couple to Indianapolis. They’ve now been here 12 years. A friend of Slawek’s, Dr. Soto Kurylo, once wrote, “Although I have never learned how to read and write, I paint a picture residing in my mind.” Slawek has adopted this as his motto, and he has traveled the world to tell the stories he finds in his mind’s eye through photographs.

The couple travels as often as they can, said Krystyna. Some of the places they’ve been include Australia, Bolivia, Chile, Easter Island, Montreal and Patagonia, among others. Most of the photographs included in his current exhibit, “Reflections – Way Off Theater”, were taken in Europe and the U.S. Slawek and his wife have rented a space at the Art Bank, a gallery at 811 Massachusetts Avenue downtown, so he has a regular place to show his work. “I didn’t think I would show my photography in this way,” he said. He started out inviting people to his home once or twice a year to show them his current photographs. He has since lost his hesitation, because “I like to provoke thought,” he admitted.

“Reflections – Way Off Theater” is an exhibit featuring photographs printed on aluminum.

“People are curious about aluminum. More and more people are trying to use it. My wife used to say photographs must be on polished paper,” Slawek said, smiling. She smiled back and quickly replied, “I don’t think that anymore.” And looking at the finished products – striking photographs of reflections and optical illusions capturing glimpses of people, buildings, emotions and the passage of time – it’s easy to see why. This photo snapped by Slawek shows a cemetery in the foreground with the World Trade Center Towers in the distance. Slawek calls his photos “draft notes with a camera.” But he is an unobtrusive photographer, most often holding the camera at his waist when snapping shots. In this way, he catches life, “not subjects mugging for the camera,” he said. Slawek has lent his photography skills volunteering with IndyFringe and the Indianapolis International Film Festival in the past. He has dedicated his “Reflections – Way Off Theater” exhibit to the creators of IndyFringe.

“My camera interprets Pop Art,” he explained. “Which originated in America many years ago and is dominant today in our streets, stores and even our houses.”

April 2008, by Krys Podgorski

“There is a hampered world created by us, the unskillful creators, still beautiful in its imperfection. The reality of it is continuously doubted and in this doubt we find our purpose. And there is the true, potent universe which forcefully moves forward on its own terms tossing us around in disregard. There we are between those two, stretched and barely holding until we lose our grip when we fall. This is little space we have but it has multiplicity of dimensions. These are miraculously captured in this work that bounce one world against the other using some truly magical mirrors and in the process disclosing otherwise unseen truth”.