Slavic and Eurasian Studies

Austin Polish Film Festival Celebrates Polish Poster Art of Rafal Olbinski

Thu, November 3, 2011 | The Marchesa Hall & Theater, 6406 N. I-35, Suite 3100

Austin Polish Film Festival Celebrates Polish Poster Art of Rafal Olbinski

Austin Polish Society Presents the 6th APFF Polish Poster Exhibit

The Art of New York-based Polish artist Rafal Olbinski.


For immediate release: October 9th, 2011

Media Contact: Margaret Meub

Telephone: 512-587-7097

 The Austin Polish Society (APS) is honored to present a renowned Polish artist and designer, Rafal Olbinski, as part of the 6th Austin Polish Film Festival (APFF).

 Mr. Olbinski’s poster exhibit will open at 7 pm on Thursday, November 3rd, at The Marchesa Hall & Theater, 6406 N. I-35, Suite 3100, Lincoln Village in conjunction with the Opening Gala of the Film Festival. The exhibit will be on view throughout November 12 open daily from 12 noon to 7pm. The admission is free except for the Opening Gala reception on November 3 when the tickets cover also food, admission to films, and Q&A sessions with the festival guests . For tickets, see Mr. Olbinski created the romantic poster design for the 6th APFF. A limited number of this poster will be available for purchase throughout the festival. The 6th APFF exhibition gathers about 40 of his excellent posters from different periods illustrating opera productions, live theater, and music festivals around the world. Olbinski’s work is known for its inventive and highly evocative imagery that appeared in publications such as Atlantic Monthly, New York Times, New Yorker, Newsweek, and Time magazine. On Sunday, November 6th from 1 pm to 3 pm at The Marchesa Hall & Theater Mr. Olbinski will conduct a presentation and a workshop discussing and demonstrating his work.

 Mr. Olbinski was born in Kielce, Poland in 1945 and studied architecture before focusing on painting and design. Best known for his stunning opera house posters and known to many through his opera set designs, Mr. Olbinski has also created hundreds of magazine covers for nationally known publications as well as calendars and book designs. Since 1985, Mr. Olbinski has been teaching at the prestigious School of Visual Arts in New York. Interviews with Mr. Olbinski reveal that his initial love of literature and poetry inspire his artwork. He indicates that he “likes to tell a story” through his paintings and that he invites the viewer “to tell their story”. Olbinski states that through his paintings, he “gives the viewer a key to the door” and an invitation to a “visual conversation…to discuss emotions”. For Olbinski, opera is the total art form. It includes painting, literature, music, sculpture, and theater and it provides him with many stories and images. He reads the libretto and condenses the themes; maybe it is jealousy, obsession, or eternal love. He then translates this emotion into an image for a poster. Described as a “surrealist”, Olbinski attributes this to the early years of Polish poster art under communism - a time when artists were subjected to the restrictions of censors. A language of “surrealism” developed out of communist era censorship, as artists began playing a game with images that spoke forbidden truths under the guise of information. Olbinski adds, “we lived surrealism every day of our life”.

 Mr. Olbinski has received more than 150 awards for his work, including Gold and Silver Medal from the Society of Illustrators and Art Directors Club of New York. In 1994, he was awarded the International Oscar for the World's Most Memorable Poster, “Prix Savignac 1994” in Paris and in 1995 his poster was chosen as the official New York City Capital of the World Poster in an invitational competition. The following year he won the award for the best painting in the annual exhibition of the Society of Illustrators.

You are invited to view the fascinating exhibit and attend the workshop to learn more about the magical images and work of a world-class Polish artist, Rafal Olbinski.

 For tickets and details please go to

Sponsors include the Center for East European, Eurasian Studies

Sponsored by: Sponsors include the Center for East European, Eurasian Studies

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