Wladyslaw Hasior (1928-1999) began creating imaginative portraits in the late 1950s. Almost never images of specific persons, they are representations of certain types of people. Clearly influenced by Witkacy, Hasior's portraits served as a pretext for socio-political comment in contemporaneous Poland, thus proving him to be a caricaturist. The cycle of portraits under consideration reflects the artist's interests in mythology, primitive and folk art, surrealism and popular culture. According to the authoress, Hasior's portrait-assemblages relate to the idea of 'doublevision', and she draws parallels with Arcimboldo as well as Pablo Picasso, although by making use of a mechanism known in psychology as projection, she also treats Hasior as a successor of Alberti and da Vinci. The full meaning contained in imaginative portraits is also sought in psychological mechanisms behind the rise of caricature, thus leading to interpretations based on Freud and Ernst Kris's further elucidations of dream sequence and such like, although the portraits are also recognised as 'visual jokes' based on wordplay carried over to the actual (twisted) image created: the humorous titles applied betray the artist's fascination for the pictorial possibilities contained in language. In conclusion, Hasior's laugh is not entirely the jeering of a satirist, but above all a reflection of the times in which he lived and the mass culture they gave rise to
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