The imagination of Joanna Zjawinska is spun with threads of elegance, passion, and infinite color. Born in post-war Poland, Joanna began painting at the age of six, transforming her stark reality into a world of textured dreams and fantasies.
Education was a long and proud family tradition, one that Joanna pursued with joyful enthusiasm. She first studied architecture, earning her Bachelor of Arts degree at the Warsaw School of Architecture. Her focused determination and innate talent soon led to her acceptance to the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, one of Europe’s most prestigious art institutions. It was there that Zjawinska, the painter, refined her unique style of oil and watercolor paintings, and earned her Master’s Degree with Honors in Graphic Design.
In 1979, Joanna Zjawinska came to San Francisco with her family and dreams, ready to begin her new life and extraordinary career in the world of art.
Zjawinska’s early works were inspired by such artists as Vermeer, Degas, and Sargent. These paintings transport us to elegant, fantasy dreamscapes through images that explore complex, passionate relationships. They are uniquely feminine, sensual, and seductive.
Zjawinska’s current works are as beautiful as they are transformative. Inspired by the romanticist landscape painter JMW Turner, and her move from San Francisco to Mendocino County, Zjawinska has found new love and appreciation for nature’s profound simplicity and beauty.
She continues her masterful creations in face and form, set in ethereal landscapes both real and abstract. Her compositions are strong, her palette deep, and her mysterious visions reveal new and exciting worlds and dreamscapes.
Her visual narratives invite multiple interpretations. The story is as layered as the scenes we are looking at. In her new collection, the paintings are not limited to the landscape they portray, but rather tell the story of our immaterial place within the vastness of the universe.
While television, film, magazines and photographs influence her work, she never allows a single image to dominate the piece, but rather builds a painting around multiple visuals. Unlike a photograph or a film frame, which is a frozen moment in time, Zjawinska’s paintings create a moment in which the viewers participate in its reenactment.
Zjawinska’s paintings are housed in many prestigious private and public collections, including: The National Museum in Torun, Poland; The Polish Institute of New York; Guerlain Perfumes, Paris; Elizabeth Arden, San Francisco; Nordstrom Inc, Seattle; Warner/Vanderbilt, New York; MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas; Michael Caine; Jackie Collins; Brooke Shields; Sidney Poitier.