Getting plastered: Łodź tenement gets stunning makeover from fantasy inspired artist

Motifs from Siudmak's painting was transposed onto the façade of the tenement house. Grzegorz Michałowski/PAP

A tenement house in Łodź, in central Poland, has received a special facelift, with a fantasy-inspired painting by Polish artist Wojciech Siudmak transposed onto its façade. Combining urban revitalisation and art, the new façade is part of efforts to make neglected parts of Łódź more attractive to residents and visitors alike.

The makeover is part of the “Mia100 Kamienic” (City of Tenement Houses) programme launched by the city in 2011, which seeks to improve residents' living conditions by tending to the aging tenement houses, from thermo-modernisation to conservation work, and the adjacent public space, including their legendary courtyards. Originally focusing on a hundred buildings - its name is a play on the word “miasto” (city), pronounced the same way as “mia” plus “sto” (a hundred) - the programme has since been expanded.

Born in Poland in 1942, Siudmak, who characterises his art as “fantastic hyper-realism”, has lived in France since the 1960s. His credo is “Only dreams can surpass insurmountable barriers”, a spirit reflected in his work.

Motifs from Siudmak's painting, “Narodziny Dnia” (The Birth of the Day) was transposed onto the façade of the tenement house at 4 Więckowskiego Street.

“We meet today in a remarkable place. A place that will soon become a very important point on the city's map, a place eagerly visited and recognisable,” said the city's mayor Hanna Zdanowska, unveiling the façade on August 24.

“The technique that we used to transfer the artist’s picture to the tenement houses’ facades is unprecedented in the country,” she highlighted. Around 260 ultra-modern stoneware tiles, ranging from 2 metres to 25 centimetres in size, were used to make the paintings, combining craftsmanship and modern technology. The tiles were manufactured by Ceramika Tubądzin, a Polish company.

Attending the unveiling in Łódź, Siudmak said he was pleased with how the façade worked out, while noting that colours on it are more muted than in his original painting. “The alchemy of colours on the tiles is only revealed after they are fired. And here the effect is wonderful,” he said.

When the project began, Siudmak had said he wanted “this place to be a source of happiness, so that people who come here can feel the joyful and positive atmosphere”.

The courtyard with the façade based on Siudmak's painting can be viewed during the day.