Posts Tagged ‘Pawel Pogorzelski’

Polish Cinematographers are some of the most skilled and highly regarded filmmakers in the world. At the top of the list is Janusz Kaminski , the two-time Oscar winner, who has photographed all of Steven Spielberg’s films since 1993’s Schindler’s List.

Determined to eventually reach that level is Montreal raised Pawel Pogorzelski. Here is his profile…

Name: Pawel Pogorzelski

Age: 31

Education: MFA Cinematography American Film Institute (AFI)

Profession: Cinematographer

Location: Los Angeles/Montreal

What are you working on now? Participating in an internship with world-renowned Cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Brokeback Mountain, Alexander) on a new film starring Twilight’s Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon called Water for Elephants.

How did you get into filmmaking? I was studying sciences in CEGEP (post-secondary education system in Quebec) and hated it. I took a photography class as one of my alternative classes and fell in love with it. One day I saw La Haine and Baraka and I knew I wanted to change from still photographs to moving images.

What drives you in your work? Storytelling — I’m driven to create cinematic moods that evokes emotional responses. I love creative collaborations with people who can enhance my work. Also, I’m fuelled by the adrenaline and challenge of being on a film set; meticulously working on one lighting setup at a time, knowing, that there is never enough time to get everything done but finding solutions to make it happen anyway.  

What are your future plans? Working professionally as a Cinematographer on films that are meaningful to me (fictional or documentary) and shooting my first studio feature film.

Major Accomplishments: I’ve received two “achievement scholarships” from AFI. The internship with Rodrigo Prieto was a huge deal for me.  Also, my thesis film The Strange Thing about the Johnsons was selected for the Slamdance festival as well as the AFI Showcase one month after completion.

What little things in life do you enjoy the most? Good food, good wine and great company.

Favourite TV Show: Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire

Why are your Polish roots important to you? Even though, I was raised in Montreal, I believe that my Polish roots are a big part of who I am and are reflected in my work.

Pawel Pogorzelski in his own words…

Moving to Los Angeles was a rather interesting decision.

That summer, in Montreal, I was offered a job on a Television Show, which would have given me work for six months and great money. But, I also got into the American Film Institute (AFI), where I could pursue my dream of shooting movies. The money was really compelling and working with friends for six months would be great. On the other hand, the unknown possibilities, the allure of Los Angeles (the Mecca of filmmaking) as well as the AFI, the warm weather and most of all, the chance to develop my career as a Cinematographer ultimately won me over.

…(Los Angeles) does not compare to Montreal. I realize now that Montreal is not that big of a city. For our business, LA is definitely a good place to be. You are surrounded by film and entertainment. The office of Technicolor, the headquarters of Panavision and KINO, massive film studios – they’re all here. It’s impressive!!! It’s a great motivator to know that the dream is close and accessible.

However, the films I am interested in making are far from what Hollywood has to offer. I love filmmakers like Michael Haneke, Stanley Kubrick and Terrence Malick and such recent films as Revanche, Thirst, Enter the Void and Summer Hours, which are not Hollywood Blockbusters. Despite this, it feels good to be here and to learn by being in the right place and meeting interesting people.

…you never know who you are about to meet here. There are genuinely great people and those that talk themselves up. I learned to take everything with a grain of salt. What is interesting is the dichotomy of the population. The mega rich live among the mega poor. A lot of crazy, interesting and challenged people walk along these streets.

Cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto

…working with and learning from Cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto was something I never imagined. It was great watching a Hollywood blockbuster being made and realizing that it is not much different from the work we do on student films. The big difference is that everyone is at the top of their game. Rodrigo is one hell of a talented cinematographer. It was great to see him work and understand the lighting decisions he was making. It was an inspiring experience.


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It’s been some time since we last posted and our deepest apologize for that. It’s been a fairly busy time for YouNxt as we are currently in the planning stages of some really large scale and very exciting projects; more news about those soon. However, we do have an exciting new initiative kicking off that we can tell you about right now.

With our mission to connect, promote and advance Polish-Canadian talent we are pleased to launch our Professional Profiles.

Updated regularly this new section will introduce you to some of the most creative, ambitious and talented young Polish-Canadian professionals around. We’ll feature rising media moguls, diplomats, artists, designers, business whizzes, entrepreneurs and community leaders. Our aim is threefold – first, to showcase the amazing work of young Polish-Canadian professionals, second, to inspire you by showcasing what your contemporaries are currently doing and last, to provide you with an opportunity to network with these ultimate achievers.

We hope that you enjoy and if you’d like to recommend someone for this section please let us know.

Additionally, if you or your company would like to get involved as a sponsor of this initiative please email us at: younxt@gmail.com

So without further adieu – here’s our inaugural profile on Visual Artist Klara Pokrzywko.

Courtesy of: klara-pokrzywko.com

Born in Warsaw, Klara Pokrzywko is an international conceptual artist that grew up in Algeria and Canada. Throughout her ten year career she has drawn inspiration from the human mind, body and behavior and has used her fascination to manipulate raw materials such as copper, silver and silk into unique fusions of art and science.

Her body imprints are in several private and public collections worldwide including galleries in London, Brussels, Los Angeles, Montreal as well as the Island6 Arte Center in Shanghai, the Zendai Museum of Modern Art in China and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum’s prestigious 56th Peace Art Exhibition at which her work won an honour of distinction.  

Currently, Klara’s work is being exhibited as part of a group exhibition of international artists at the Sugimoto Gallery in Tokyo and on June 19th in Lodz, Poland she will kick off Klara Pokrzywko: The Human – Body, Mind, Environment – a ten year retrospective of her work and her first solo exhibition in the country.

Presently, Klara is based in Los Angeles and Montreal and divides her time between the two cities with her husband, Cinematographer, Pawel Pogorzelski.

Klara Pokrzywko in her Montreal studio

Name: Klara Pokrzywko

Profession: Visual Artist

Location: Los Angeles

Education: Master in Arts Management and Cultural Policy from City University in London, UK, Bachelor of Fine Arts – with Distinction and Honorary Mention from Concordia University in Montreal and currently studying Chemical Thermodynamics, Energetics, and Change at UCLA in Los Angeles.
How do you like living in L.A? So far so good. I have lived in a few cities besides my hometown Montreal (Madrid, Brussels, London, Adelaide and Shanghai) and find myself to be enchanted at first and then I notice there is no place like home.

Klara participates in the Shopdropping project during Biennale Montreal 2009. Photo by: Aleks Labuda

What are you working on now? My first Art Book – Klara Pokzywko a Retrospective: Body, Mind, Behavior.  

What will the book consist of? It will introduce the audience to my work and eventually to me. After all, you can’t separate the art from the artist, and you can’t separate the artist from his life experiences. The book will document my work from its genesis and evolution. Essentially, it will look like a nicely designed scrapbook with photos, old press releases, invitations and writings about my work from contemporary art historians, poets, designers, film directors and art critics. My hope is to also make it a platform for a lot of my talented friends.

How long will it take to create? I think it might take me a year to complete.

How does it feel to be exhibiting in Poland for the first time? It’s a bit of a strange, confusing and nervous experience for me but that’s because I am close to accomplishing a very important personnel step. There is a reason why I absolutely wanted to exhibit in Lodz (Poland) for my 10th anniversary of art practice. I want to go to the city where my grandmother (Klara Tyminska-Elektorowicz) was born and I want to dedicate my exhibition to her and make it a bit of a family reunion. My grandmother was my first encounter with art. She was an art teacher and a great artist. I believe that being creative is in some way hereditary.

Courtesy: klara-pokrzywko.com

Courtesy: klara-pokrzywko.com

Courtesy: klara-pokrzywko.com

Klara at work in her Montreal studio

What drives you in your work? I haven’t really figured that out yet. My core rule is to strive for happiness. I try to have enough guts to do what makes me genuinely happy. When I obey that, I find things just come together and start making sense.

What are your future plans?  Two exhibits in Tokyo and further introductions to America. A Toronto show is also in the works.

Major Accomplishments: I just got civilly married – Hollywood style to Cinematographer Pawel Pogorzelski. For those who know me, that is a huge accomplishment.

Favourite TV Show: I don’t really watch TV but if I do it’s on the net. I will often watch BBC documentaries. I also like the History, the Biography and the National Geographic Channel. They’re all interesting and there is no commitment required. In the days when I travelled less, I used to like Seinfeld, Friends, 3rd Rock from the Sun, and That 70’s Show. I met Ashton Kutcher once next to my house at this vintage charity sale and I was going to tell him that I loved his show but then some groupies jumped him and I though that maybe he didn’t need the extra compliment.

Why are your Polish roots important to you? Because this is who I am.

Is there a motto or a saying that you like to live by? Becoming is superior to being – Socrates

Website: www.klara-pokrzywko.com

Invitation to Klara's first solo Polish exhibition at the Gallery of Piotr Uznański in Lodz.

Shanghai Buildings: The creative process

“The piece was made during my Art residency at the Island6 Arts Center in Shanghai under the direction of artist Thomas Charveriat from France.”

INSPIRATION – “I am attaching the pictures of the landscape that inspired my piece. I was living in one of those white buildings with Pawel. They overlooked where the Art Center was.”

Buildings in Shanghai

Apartment lights in Shanghai

PERSPIRATION – “The piece was made in the Peninsula Printing Studio under the supervision of great and well known chinese artist Prof. Lu Zhiping and his Master Printer Cai Yao Guang, they were amazing and SO kind.”

Panels for Shanghai Buildings piece

Peninsula Printing Studio

Professor Lu Zhiping and his Master Printer Cai Yao Guang

PRESENTATION – “Pawel and I hand punched all the windows (square holes) that you see in the piece – hard physical work!”

Shanghai Buildings final piece. Photo courtesy: klara-pokrzywko.com

Shanghai Buildings final piece at the Island6 Arts Center in Shanghai. Photo courtesy: klara-pokrzywko.com

CONGRATULATION – “I was also invited to sign their (Peninsula Printing Studio’s) “wall of fame” where you can find apparently very famous Chinese artists that passed by there…this was quite an Honor for me. They had a lot of respect for me because I worked an average of 12 hours a day, seven days a week.”

"Wall of fame" at the Peninsula Printing Studio

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