The series of work from Polish artist Jan Manski is aptly titled Onania – an archaic term for masturbation. The life-sized installations focus on ideas of vanity and hedonism. Dominated by a fleshy shade of pink, Manski seems to ambiguously address a cultural obsession with pleasure while neither condemning nor condoning it. Manski contrasts materials such as fat, leather, bones and fur with surgical steel, enamel, clothing, and cosmetics. Onania manages to repulse and be aesthetically pleasing – mesmerizing like a botched medical procedure.
Onania is an infected universe that has been accumulating character and detail since Jan Manski’s MA at Central Saint Martins in 2010. Onania’s development has been unrelentingly pervasive of Manski’s practice, appropriate to its nature as a diseased scourge.
Manski’s meticulous and total attention to minute detail has borne a product encased in the methodologies of this eminently inviting and hostile environment. Onania hosts an alternate reality and fertile breeding ground for mankind’s most despicable modern habits. Narcissism bred from frantic consumer culture is shown at its most destructive, with Onania’s inhabitants seeking its prime offering – unadulterated and uninterrupted pleasure.