Behind the Curtain
Andrzej Klimowski and Peter Jenny
During the 1970s, when many Eastern European citizens dreamed of going West, two young students travelled the other way. They studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and, much to everyone's surprise, stayed on to make a living as artists. Behind the Curtain is a graphic novel account of their journey. In this unique collaboration, two distinctive styles interweave to tell a charming and sophisticated story of life, art, politics. Behind the Curtain is a portrait of the cultural environment that flourished against the backdrop of the harsh realities of the communist state. Behind the Curtain captures the absurdities of a time when toilet paper was worth its weight in gold, as well as the picturing the vibrant community of artists who were producing visionary theatrical productions, films, ground-breaking posters and exhibitions. It was a time when a Polish Pope was elected, Solidarity Free Trade Unions were formed and, eventually, tanks appeared in the streets.
Andrzej Klimowski is a Professor of Illustration at the Royal College of Art. His work has been exhibited internationally and collected by museums in Europe and the United States. Throughout an acclaimed career, he has designed film and theatre posters, and has directed a number of short animated films. He has designed book covers for Penguin, Faber & Faber, Everyman Library and Oberon Books, as well as contributing drawings to The Guardian. Some of his most memorable posters and book covers include ones for Jim Jarmusch, Harold Pinter and Milan Kundera. His other graphic novels include The Depository, The Secret and Horace Dorlan (V&A Illustration Award-winner 2007), as well as The Master and Margarita and Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. Danusia Schejbal has exhibited her critically acclaimed paintings across Europe. Born in London, she studied fashion and was later awarded a British Council scholarship to study stage design. From 1976 to 1981, she designed sets and costumes for various theatres in Poland. Her career has subsequently seen her working as a designer for the award-winning Cherub Theatre Company and making short films with Klimoski. Schejbal previously collaborated with Klimowski on The Master and Margarita and Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde for SelfMadeHero.