Juliusz Lewandowski


“I don’t think any economic change is possible without a profound change in social customs.”

At this moment we are fighting in hell.

George F. (the longest-serving squatter in Poland) interviews Juliusz Lewandowski for Freedomnews.

On the streets, during an antifascist counter-protest against right-wing nationalists, we were constantly shouted at with the word “faggot”, succinctly describing the difference between freedom of speech and hate speech that people often seem confused about. Poland is intensely fighting against a wave of conservatism and faces an uncertain future for women and LGBT+ people under the influence of Catholicism and authoritarianism.

GF: If you don’t mind sharing, how do you identify in terms of gender and sexuality?

JL: Honestly, in terms of my identity, gender and sexuality are important to me, but not as much as being a communist. My interests in art, philosophy, and politics seem more important to me. After all this, I can say whether I am a man or a woman, bisexual, gay, or transgender. After all, it is not so important to me, but gender equality is. I don’t think any economic change is possible without a change in social customs, such as patriarchy, for example. It is already falling apart. LGBT people should support women, especially here in Poland, where the church wants to rule over everyone.

GF: Many of your works deal with eroticism, sexuality, and queerness. Why have you chosen these themes?

JL: Firstly, to show that gay eroticism is the same as any other erotic art and, as Klimt said, art in general is erotic. Secondly, I think eroticism is very important, and sometimes people tend to neglect it. It is sad nowadays that many do not know where the line between erotic art and porn is. Second: I have always been in favor of gender equality. Even more than that, like other painters of the past, I wanted to create a canon of beauty that was not particularly connected to the male or female body. In fact, many heterosexual people love my gay paintings and are collecting them. I think that’s great, and some mission has been accomplished.