March 11, 2005 by

Zdzislaw Beksinski

23 comments

Categories: Artists

zbeksinski.jpgZdzislaw Beksinski, a Polish artist who created dark and haunting images, was murdered on Feb. 22. He was 75.

Beksinski’s body, which sustained multiple stab wounds, was found inside his Warsaw flat. Three days later, police charged two teenagers with the slaying. One suspect, the son of Beksinski’s friend and aide, confessed to killing the painter.

Born in Sanok, Poland, Beksinski studied architecture at the Cracow University of Technology. He soon developed a passion for artistic pursuits, such as painting, sculpting, photography and drawing. Working to the strains of classical music, Beksinski created intricately detailed pieces of surreal art.

In the 1970s and 1980s, he became popular in fantasy art circles for his nightmarish paintings of cemeteries, alien creatures and apocalyptic scenes.

Although he was often compared to Ernst Fuchs, the Austrian founder of a fantastic-realism school, and Swiss artist H.R. Giger, Beksinski was a contemporary master in his own right. Exhibitions of his always-untitled work appeared in the United States, Europe and Japan, and collectors paid thousands for a single canvas. His book, “The Fantastic Art of Beksinski,” was published in 1998.
Prior to moving to Warsaw in 1977, Beksinski burned several of his paintings because they failed to meet his exacting standards or were “too personal.” His wife, Zofia, died in 1998. A year later, on Christmas Eve, his son Tomasz committed suicide.

[Update – Nov. 9, 2006: A Warsaw court convicted a man of killing Polish surrealist painter Zdzislaw Beksinski, and sentenced him to 25 years in prison. The defendant, who was identified under Polish privacy laws only as 20-year-old Robert K., was the son of a longtime aide and friend. Robert K.’s teenage cousin, identified as Lukasz K., was convicted of being an accessory to the crime, and sentenced to five years in prison.]

23 Responses to Zdzislaw Beksinski

  1. Liliana Tademar

    Rodzinie Zdzislawa Beksinskiego skladam glebokie wyrazy wspolczucia z powodu tragicznej smierci naszego wielkiego artysty. Wiadomosc o Jego smierci napelnila mnie smutkiem. Zawsze pozostanie w moich myslach i modlitwach.
    Liliana T.

  2. Peter Grass

    The world has lost a great talent. Mr. Beksinski is and always will be a great inspiration for me and my artwork. But he lives on in his paintings always.
    Pg

  3. Kathy, from Tasmania.

    Why murder such an artist…it is so absurd and by a friend’s son. I fail to understand this world and yet we all must go on and face the truth that it will all end…one way or another…
    RIP BEKSINSKI

  4. Siegfried Ehrmann

    I was fascinated by Beksinski’s work for many years, and finally my friend Stanislaw Borowski introduced me to his friend Zdzislaw. We met in his Warsaw apartment and talked about his classic work as well as the new style that he was developing at the time.
    His untimely and senseless death is the final apocalyptic scene in this great artist’s life.

  5. Joseph Murphy

    The world has truely lost an imagination that seemed almost too rich to be real, his pictures caused my mind to travel beyond what we percieve as “pictures”, Beksinski was truely a genius in his own right. From a mind that he has touched, encouraged, bewildered and intrigued and shall remain there always………

  6. David Van Sise

    This was the greatest artist the world has ever seen, and probably ever will. What a shame, and to be honest, I cried when i heard about this.

  7. Curt Chiarelli

    Zdzislaw Beksinski and his art were not only shaped by, but transcended the brutal juggernaut of the modern world of whom he was inextricably a part.
    Now, he has become a victim of it. And it devastates me.
    A towering figure in the world of art, the only other masters whose names could be spoken of in the same breath were Dr. Ernst Fuchs or Brueghel.
    Beksinski’s apocalyptic nightmare landscapes and cathedrals of the damned were the Real McCoy – true surrealist art in its apotheosis. His work was a stark, yet sublime, Totentanz, mist-shrouded and surcharged with vast mysteries and intimate morbidities, the breeze always whispering with a heavy sigh, hinting at the raw gristle of terror lurking beneath the poetics of despair.
    It fills me with rage to contemplate how our world has been flensed of genius once again by the monkey-masses, the coarse and blunted minds, the common, garden-variety assholes. We may have been robbed of his extraordinary visions, but his work shall always remain before us, hovering just out of reach, perpetually inspiring us. We should take some solace in that, if nothing else.
    Zdzislaw, my only hope is that, in death, you’ve finally found the peace that has always eluded you in life.
    Ave et vale, Frater,
    Curt Chiarelli

  8. Andy Nutt

    So late after the event I pay homage to a truly Great Artist.I sit in deep sadness.Words are not enough to express my sadness. O great one who inspired me to paint again I say you are immortal. Your spirit has touched me for ever.
    Your life was not in vain. Your originality was above Dali. Rest in Peace.
    Andy Nutt ,Perth,Western Australia.

  9. jason steele

    I love music and art, and had personally given up experimenting with art until a few years ago when i first saw Beksinski s great works, which inspired me to try painting. I never had the honor of getting to meet him, but he touched my life in a truly indescribeable way, my deepest regards to his family, friends, and fans….The world has truly lost a very valuable, irreplaceable treasure.

  10. Jessica

    Wow, I have recently stumbled upon this artist and am so sad to hear of his death. How could anyone kill someone that could produce such amaing works of art?

  11. Meach

    I just found out today that one of my favorite artists has died. Zdzislaw Beksinski was a master, and one of the most original artist of all time. His flawless paintings were direct visual communications from a place some might call the spiritual realm. His paintings were some of the most vivid and emotional masterpieces I’ve ever seen. They truely affected me deeply. I remember when his book arrived in the mail, I was electrified with excitement. I read it front to back as soon as it arrived. I feel sadness to know the world will be missing out on the potential artworks that could have been. Although, I also feel at ease and calmed at the thought that he is now at peace with what he was searching for his whole life. He will surely be free from the affliction he has undergone in life. His energy is now dispersed throughout the universe. He is now a part of us all and I am greatly honored to have stumbled upon his intriguing, inspiring, unconquerable, unequivocal art. May I meet you on the otherside someday, Zdzislaw Beksinski.

  12. Katrina

    This man saw many things. His work spoke to me, like no one else’s ever could. He was a master and a genius, and I cannot help but wonder at the motive of the crime. Why? What did they accomplish?

  13. Rado Iliev

    I was so happy to rediscover Beksinski on the web some 20 years after I first saw a magazine with reproductions of some of his works. I can never forget the images. They were truly inspirational, pure magic. I wished I could paint like that. For the last 2 years I kept coming back to my Favourites on the screen to look at his works. Remembered seeing an original at the Sofia Museum of Foreign Art in the mid 80

  14. Lisa

    Unbelievable. I just found out about this today, and I am very shaken up. Not just that he’s gone but the violent way he died. Beksinski was one of my- no my art hero. I encountered his work in a bookstore years ago and everything I’ve worked on since then has drawn inspiration from Beksinski’s work in one way or another. He was very much like me, from what I’ve read of him. He will be badly missed by me and his many fans.

  15. Angela

    I am in such shock & overwhelmed. Why would anyone want to do such a thing? He was such a great artist & didn’t deserve to die this way. I only stumbled upon his work last night. I was up for hours looking @ learning. I am saddened by this enormous loss. He will definitely be remembered. His work has inspired me and has elucidated my thoughts in many ways.
    RIP Zdzislaw Beksinski

  16. Heather Ann Black

    I’m currently researching Beksinski’s work and find he is a great inspiration and to lose such an artist is a crime in itself let alone being murderd by a child of a friend.

  17. Thom

    I am lost for words. I just recently got into his amazing works of art, and now it appears he has been dead, MURDERED, months ago. Why did they rob him of his life? Crazed fandom? Envy? Why? This is horrible. I greatly respect a person capable of such greatness as he.
    A man once said: “It’s only human to want to kill a beautiful thing.” It appears he was right.
    Rest in serenity, kind sir.

  18. Ellen Franssen

    I’m so sad to read that he is being murdered.
    I’ve just seen some of his work on the internet and was amazed by it.Just love it.
    I also just find out that his life wasn’t as pretty as I was hoping for,even his dead wasn’t.
    May he rest in peace.
    Tonight I will lite a candle for you.
    And maybe someday I’ll see an original painting from you,I hope so.
    Thank you for your arts

  19. Zakk

    I am ashamed that I didn’t know of your death before now…….
    I feel a cold shock in the very center of my spirit knowing that you left the world in such a horrific and brutal way.
    Zdzislaw, you were the reason that I dared to go to art school and study painting. You reawoke the deep desires that I had hidden from myself for so long and I will always be greatful to you and my work will always be, in some part, a tribute to you. Thank you for all you did in life and for the lives your work will continue to touch. May you find a blessed peace in the next life, and perhaps you will finally be able to sit and play your music all day, for eternity.

  20. jack burgin

    I WISH I COULD OF MET BEKSINSKI, HE AS INSPIRED ME TO CREATE SOME OF MY BEST ART WORK OVER THE YEARS AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO, SORRY THIS MESSAGE IS LATE BUT IT TOOK ME A WHILE TO FIND OUT ABOUT THIS TRAGIC LOSS CAUSE IVE JUST GOT ON THE NET, AND THE PAPERS HAD NO NEWS OF HIS DEATH IN THEM? MY HIS MURDERERS ROT IN THERE CELLS THEN ROT IN HELL 4 ALL ETERNITY. AND MAY BEKSINSKI FLY THROUGH THE VOID TO HIS TRUE RESTING PLACE WERE HE WILL BE AT PEACE FOREVER, I WILL CONTINUE TO CREATE MY WORK WITH BEKSINSKI AT MY VERY SOUL, THANK GOD 4 BRINGING HIM TO THIS WORLD FOR ALL OF US TO WITNESS THIS TRUE TALLANT. SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE MY FRIEND. LOVE ALLWAYS JACK.

  21. PAUL LEWIN

    i’m so sad that i found out so late about beksinski’s death.i’m trying not to cry right now,there will never be enough words to express how i felt about his work………..i just can’t believe he’s gone!!

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