A woman’s figure has become a characteristic, original symbol of Agnieszka Borkowska’s works. The character from her paintings is young, representing a contemporary type of beauty. She is usually immersed in her thoughts, focused and seems absent and full of mystery. She is presented in nondescript surroundings, often in close-up, and attracts the whole attention of the viewer, who steps into her intimate territory, almost as a seasoned voyeur. Borkowska’s paintings fall neither into a generic scene category, nor a portrait one, as the artist concentrates her whole attention on capturing emotions and thoughts of her characters – their dilemmas, desires and fears.
In many of her works a woman is presented in antithetic arrangement, associated with decorative motifs typical for antiquity or the Renaissance. Due to such measure, the figures seem less obvious, they become more decorative and thus are treated more like objects. On the other hand, the artist by presenting the same figure, only facing the opposite direction, refers to women’s dual nature and brings to our notice ambiguous attitudes and dilemmas they experience before they make crucial life decisions – all this suggests that women from the paintings are treated as objects. Borkowska juggles here a popular, dominant and embedded in art through ages image of a woman, reduced to an attractive form, by confronting it with an image of a person with their own identity and will and by creating reflective characters.
Many of Borkowska’s works are of small format, which emphasizes their intimate character. In each painting the artist ushers us into a personal world of a woman and leaves us alone with her thoughts and emotions. At the same time, every paining and every character offers pieces of universal truths about femininity, which Borkowska is trying to define. The artist, however, does not refer to the social and cultural roles and clichés, but touches upon the realm of emotions, senses and intuition. She does it in a subtle manner, leaving us free to build an individual image of femininity in our minds and letting us adapt it to our own sensitivity.