Enigmatic Polish School Poster School Star Leaked the Spotlight – The Calvert Journal
In the 1970s, posters became increasingly surreal in their treatment of the subject. In his poster for Full-scale (1974), Baranowska plants a photograph of Michel Piccoli on the crotch of a model, while the top of his head is cut off. Meanwhile, on the poster of Woodpecker and Woodpecker and Colegram she shows greater restraint; although the substitution of snowflakes for swastikas still packs a punch.
Of all Baranowska’s movie posters, arguably the most widely circulated is his iconic design for Possession (nineteen eighty one); made by Żuławski, facilitated and financed by Ferry. With a color scheme that mirrors the film’s bluish cinematography, the poster shows a naked woman entangled with an octopus. Baranowska’s work effortlessly unites the film’s many layers of literal and metaphorical meanings, matching the intensity of its psychological drama. Given the many twists and turns in his life, the poster is an apt representation of Baranowska’s legacy; intertwined as he is with that of his husbands – but boldly telling his own story, too.
Baranowska has not created anything in the public domain since the mid-1980s, and after Ferry’s death in 2011, little has changed in his daily life. According to Bird, she still goes to the movies every day, devours books and is just as insightful today as she was 40 years ago.
There are a myriad of reasons why Baranowska’s name is not celebrated alongside many of his contemporaries. But what sets her apart as one of the Polish poster school’s best-kept secrets is an astonishing admission for someone with so much talent: she claims she neither had the passionnor the ambition to call herself an artist or even to produce more works than she needed. Baranowska’s posters were not born out of the pursuit of a singular creative path, but as an innate and authentic expression of his life at the center of Polish artistic society during a unique moment in time. And that is precisely what makes them so extraordinary. As Harriet Williams of Projekt 26 says: “Her unique attitude of only working when she needed to make it all the more amazing that when she applied herself she threw in this genius work which is all amazing. .