Forbidden Play + I Hope I Look Gay

Barbara Cabaj, Karolina Szwed

Sticky Handshakes

Forbidden Play (Zakazane zabawy) – Barbara Cabaj

2022, oil on canvas

The painting “Forbidden Play” captures the tenderness with which a child strokes the slimy body of a worm. The artist revisits her childhood memory of such a playtime, which was interrupted by a disciplining parent. Since then, she has identified any contact with an alien, sticky body as threatening and repulsive.

I Hope I Look Gay – Karolina Szwed

2023, oil on canvas

The painting presents a portrait of a young person for whom the time of growing up is a process of discovering her own queer identity. The portrayed figure is accompanied by a kind of uncertainty, a feeling of embarrassment.