The Polish Female Masturbators The discussion about Dwurnik is endless, but never boring. Anyway, we have a very decent reason, or even two, to write about him again – after a year he has eventually finished the painting called 60 Polish Women Masturbating at the Bus Stop and, what is more, the work can be seen at the exhibition in Galeria Winda in Kielce.
Nudes, nudes, nudes everywhere – cheesecake, tits and vaginas. 60 Polish Women Masturbating at the Bus Stop seems to be asking to be labelled ‘pornography’. The models are exhibitionists and the painter a provocateur. However, it would be too simplistic and superficial, although tempting, to call Dwurnik a swine and an erotomaniac. Still, the painting is more about the triumph of femininity, the affirmation of pleasure and liberty! Is Dwurnik’s new creation a feminist manifesto then? It seems to be a slightly twisted hypothesis, but the sexologist Andrzej Depko confirms that in his foreword to the exhibition catalogue. ‘If there is still a taboo in our culture, it would be masturbation itself. Edward Dwurnik has decided to break the social taboo. He has created a manifesto-painting, presenting masturbation as an act of both individual auto-creation and social bonding. The women in the painting are demonstrating in public space, showing that they are autonomous beings, i.e. potentially self-sufficient. Their masturbation at a bus stop symbolizes self-rule, moral autonomy and liberation from the restraining power of patriarchy and heterosexuality.’
Art in Brief: Why did you paint those masturbating women? Where did the idea come from?
Edward Dwurnik: I used to paint nudes. I got really involved because I had been preparing for that for many, many years. A nude is an awfully difficult form of art. The painter has to have great skill and technique to capture the colour of the body etc., but he also needs to have quite a lot of sexual and emotional experience. And one of the models told me once that she was bored to tears just standing there and she started masturbating.
AiB: Any problems finding more models?
ED: Almost all women I asked to pose agreed happily. There are several artists, a gallery owner from Poznań, a curator from Olsztyn and one of the managers at BWA Gallery. There are also wives of politicians and sports officials.
AiB: Sports officials?
ED: They like to be physically active, you know.
AiB: And all the talk about women’s lib, isn’t it just a lousy excuse to show more cheesecake? In the 19th century the photos of naked women were sold under the cover of mythology or religion…
ED: It’s worth showing that masturbation is such a common phenomenon, and not a sin or a mental disorder. Also, it was a really pleasant job, since the models were so cute.
AiB: But why are they doing that at the bus stop?
ED: They are masturbating in public to emphasise the fact that everybody does it. Onanism and masturbation is everyday life, just like drinking coffee for breakfast.
AiB: Are you planning to paint Polish male masturbators?
ED: I will place them at a railway station.