Paweł Borzym — A Polish Artist in Miami

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Poland's good name can be glorified in many ways. Each of us has different abilities and skills. It can also be done through art. Polish artists, and those born abroad but with Polishness in their hearts, often contribute to creating a positive image of Poland in the world. Ignacy Paderewski is probably the best example of a combination of artistic creativity and patriotism.

Not all of the creators of art are widely known, but I want to write about them. One of them is Paweł Borzym, a.k.a. bOrZiK.

ART BASEL MIAMI, started in 1970 by private gallery owners in the Swiss city of Basel, is a global art fair that connects artists, galleries, collectors and art lovers from all continents. Since 2002, traditionally at the turn of November and December, the fair has its edition in Miami, and since 2013 also in Hong Kong.

During Art Week, tens of thousands of artists and art enthusiasts come to Miami. It is their real celebration, but also an opportunity to purchase unique works created by artists from around the world.

Over the 20 years of its existence, the Art Basel Miami fair has been constantly gaining in importance, and several exhibitions of the, so-called, "satellite", which give the opportunity to participate in art fairs and present their work also to talented debuting artists, and young art galleries a chance to appear on the global market.

Spectrum Miami and Red Dot Miami are both exhibitions and fairs of contemporary art. Every year, over 150 independent artists take part in this prestigious event, often just starting their independent careers, which gives collectors the opportunity to purchase their works without speculative prices.

The place of this fair is the extremely dynamically developing district of Miami, full of life, restaurants and luxury boutiques: Wynwood. The event will take place from Thursday, November 30 to Sunday, December 4, 2022.

This year, for the first time as an independent artist, an extremely talented, ambitious Polish artist Paweł Borzym, a.k.a. bOrZiK, will exhibit his works at the Spectrum Miami fair.

Ania Navas talked to the artist.

Ania Navas: Paweł, you were born in Poland. Tell me how did you end up in tropical Miami?

Paweł Borzym: In the United States, I started my new phase of life as a Polish immigrant on June 14, 2004. I spent the first four months in Atlantic City and then I flew to Miami and stayed here. I am very happy to live in this city, although sometimes I don't like some parts of it. However, I am emotionally attached to Miami. I started a family here, and my wonderful son Mikołaj was born here, who is now 9 years old. I also have many friends and acquaintances. Thanks to the experience gained among artists creating in Miami, I have achieved some artistic success, which now results in my first independent exhibition during Art Week Miami.

AN: What region of Poland do you come from?

PB: In Poland, I was born in Toruń, but I grew up in the vicinity of this city, in the town of Złotoria on the Drwęca River.

AN: Where did the idea for living in the USA come from?

PB: The idea of ​​living on the American continent sprouted in me since I was a child, because my dad left for the USA in 1987 when I was 5 years old and spent three years in Chicago. He planned to move the whole family there, but plans have changed. My father returned home to Poland, but since then, as a young boy, I dreamed of going to the American continent, and especially to Miami. I was inspired by TV series like "Miami Vice" and I mean it seriously, since I was a kid I dreamed of living in Miami.

AN: As we can see, you succeeded. What were your beginnings in Florida like?

PB: The beginnings, as usual, were not too easy. I worked various jobs to support myself. I did not expect that despite my passion for art, it is artistic creation that will one day be my source of income. I worked in an art gallery, I met many artists there, and since I had artistic skills since I was a child, I decided to try my hand and cooperate with those artists with whom I made friends. So it's been 12 years since I've been working in the art world, but most of that time has been performance work for other artists. I helped them carry out their projects. After some time, I felt a creative urge. Having skills and experience, I wanted to create my own visions. The moment came when I matured to the decision to become completely independent, despite the risks that this entails.

(Photo: Paweł Borzym)

AN: Where can one see your work and possibly buy it?

PB: At the moment, my works can be seen and purchased via the Internet. Here is the personal contact information:

I had a few local exhibitions in Miami, they were often related to charity, but I started my own artistic creation and creating my own recognizable brand only in January 2022.

AN: What materials do you use in your work?

PB: At the moment, it's mostly blank cartridges and their casings. Their symbolism makes it easier for me to express an artistic message in which I strive to show that the world is dual and there are extremes in it. A bullet can kill, but it can also protect someone, save their life. This is a double meaning of the same item. An example of such symbolism is my work "Panda Punk-da". The combination of the softness and gentleness of the panda and the hard and sharp expression of the bullets symbolizes the duality of concepts. Combining these two extremes symbolizes the pacification of the projectile object, which is generally perceived negatively by society as a symbol of killing. But we must not forget that the bullet kills, but also protects. The right to bear arms guaranteed in the United States by the Second Amendment is, in my view, necessary for the individual to be able to defend himself. Also against political totalitarianism. I bet on individualism and oppose oppressive totalitarian systems.

(Photo: Paweł Borzym)

AN: What is the second message of your work?

PB: My love for nature, for animals. In general: respect for God's creation. It inspires me to convey to the recipients how important it is to protect nature. Often, bullets are used by people as a tool for crimes against nature. Especially when humans hunt extinct species of animals. That's why some of my work is related to this topic. Bringing public attention to these issues is very important to me.

AN: Looking at your works, I realized that you have an alternative proposal for hunters who like to collect hunting trophies.

PM: Yes. For example, if someone wants to decorate his residence with a hunting trophy, he does not have to murder animals for this purpose. My substitute proposal is to create three-dimensional forms of artistic expression that you can hang on the wall and avoid the bloody hunt for defenseless animals. An example of such a "trophy" is my work entitled "Tiger Skin", made entirely of cartridge cases. Very decorative, suitable for hanging on the wall and symbolizing bloodless hunting. For art. Not for animals. This is the first in a series of seven works depicting endangered animal species and the regions they come from. The already mentioned "Tiger skin" also symbolizes the bamboo forest in the Indian hills where these tigers live. My next project in this Endangered Animals series will be a giraffe.

Photo: Paweł Borzym

AN: I know that despite the years spent in exile, you carry Poland in your heart. Do you also intend to introduce some elements of Polish symbolism into your work in the future?

PB: In the future, I think I will try to incorporate more symbols of Polishness in my works in some way. As an independent artist, I have been operating only since the beginning of 2022 and my presence at the "Spectrum Miami" exhibition as part of the Art Week, Art Basel, in Miami is the first public exhibition for an international group of art collectors and lovers.

AN: I think that everything is ahead of you and we will hear more than once about your next achievements. We wish you a lot of success!

Paweł Borzym in his Miami studio. (Photo: Paweł Borzym)

Paweł Borzym was born in 1982 in Poland, in Toruń. He immigrated to the United States when he was just over twenty and settled in Miami, Florida, where he now lives and works.

Paweł, like many artists born in the 20th century, is also self-taught, with over 12 years of experience, which he acquired working alongside many well-known and respected artists. During this time, he developed an excellent sense of form and aesthetics, culminating in an innate attention to detail that led him to co-create sculptures now exhibited in museums around the world and at prestigious events such as Art Basel in Miami and the Venice Art Biennale in Italy.

Inspired by the beauty of nature and motivated by the ferocity of the elements, he embarked on a journey with the ultimate goal of helping others understand what that every aspect of life has two sides to the same story. The two opposite ends of the stick mean the endless struggle between good and evil.

Artist's Manifesto

My art reflects the last ten years of my life, when I learned how important it is to take care of our nature, fight for ourselves and turn all difficult life challenges into lessons pacified by the gentle side of difficult topics, as often misunderstood norms by society.

I challenge the Status Quo through past cultural concepts such as the anti-establishment Punk Movement of the 1970s and the current influence of the Cyber-Punk cryptocurrency on banking and the global perception of money.

The name of the Congress refers to the total number of Poles and people of Polish descent around the world. It is estimated that about 40 million Poles live in the country, while the remaining 20 million are scattered across all continents. Polonia has a huge potential and that is why it is so important that Poland does not lose ties with it.


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