Feature by Susan Lee Rigg
Senior Features Editor
PUBLISHED October 22nd, 2015
The two of brothers – Partyk Koc and Mateusz Stefanowski were born in Łódź and live there – in an post-industrial, scruffy city that is now getting revitalized. A “mixed blessing” of Łódź – pain, sorrow but right now also hope – have become a brutally true reflection of the town, which used to be fallen, but which is continually rising like a phoenix from the ashes. But once you are sensitive and sympathetic enough, you can draw a lot from simple wandering around those run-of-the-mill streets or contemplating the crumbling architecture on a daily basis. The atmosphere can be really moving though – you can see more, understand better, feel deeper. So did the brothers – the city of Łódź instantly became a brilliant source of inspiration for them?
Despite the relatively big age gap – which is about nine years – they managed to find common ground – a dedication to photography. Both lost and overwhelmed by the constant humdrum of reality they were to live in, the brothers made up their minds to create an alternative world that can only be seen through the camera lens. This turned out to be an ideal way to escape the mundane, tedious existence. What empowered them was the family – people who need no words to see you through. The ties that bind were of help – but for the fantasy, commitment of the loving ones, the boys wouldn’t be able to jump through the hoops they meet every day.
Photography had been their passion since childhood, but just a few months ago the brothers decided to go for broke and took a step in the right direction of professionalism in that branch. Standing shoulder to shoulder they were making outstanding progress in the chosen field. On the grounds of the sibling rivalry (which clearly doesn’t have to be a negative phenomenon!), the boys created a system based on mutual understanding and drum-up. They still work on the cooperation skills and try to go up to scratch, although they have to go through a long way to success, which is fraught with difficulties and inconvenience. The goal remains the same anyway – to change the world with art, to make it just a little bit more sensitive to the everyday “unbearable heaviness of being”. To paint the gray landscape of our lives in bright, fresh colors.
One day, a man called Nicholas Javed came across the young men’s path. He was the one who lend them a hand and guided through the shifting sands of photographic business. While the fledgling photographers were lost in the dark, he proved that “every cloud has a silver lining” if we believe in ourselves firmly enough! It seems impossible to measure how much gratefulness the brothers owe to their mentor, like it’s extremely hard to describe the harsh awakening right after an anxious, restless dream. His determination, unbelievable dedication to the job and passionate perception will always be an inspiration for young gentlemen.