Marek Zyga, a self-taught sculptor with a life-long passion for art, began working with clay in 2003. By 2007, he had a debut solo exhibition at the Ceramics Museum in his hometown of Boleslawiec, Poland.
As a figurative sculptor, he is most interested in the human form and especially in rendering gestures that evoke human behavior, reactions and relationships. He says, "My sculptures are like processed images from reality, to some extent they are stories." His female, life-size figures are feminine and graceful, with animated hand and arm gestures that express various feelings of openness, wariness, boldness or vulnerability. These figures are often clad in garments embellished with large, bold block letters that form abstract patterns, adding to the narrative quality of the work. The letters express the act of communication, but the message is enigmatic and left entirely to the imagination of the viewer. Male figures are often in animated poses that call to mind athletes or acrobats from a dream or an imagined world.
Zyga starts each piece from a small model made from a gypsum (plaster) mold. Using extrusion, impression, casting, and modeling, he creates his forms in segments which make up the final life-size sculpture. He is fascinated by the rough texture of chamotte clay, which has a great deal of grog, a fired clay, ground into coarse particles and added to wet clay to produce a gritty, rough texture called "tooth." Texture and patterns are formed across the figures as clay segments are built up and pressed next to each other. These modeling techniques create an organic surface texture reminiscent of earth and stone. The garments are colored with glazes, pigments and engobes made of colored clay slips that enhance their texture, pattern and form. Zyga's body of work is at once beautiful and celebratory of the human form; mysterious in the abstract use of symbols; and haunting with an aura of a dream-like, imagined world. Zyga has exhibited at premier European galleries and museums including Etienne Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands and the International Ceramics Center in Bolesławiec, Poland, and participated in numerous Biennales and Art Fairs.