• Emyra Chadia

Confronting the Beasts of our Minds - Dawid Planeta


Diving into the mystical mind of Dawid Planeta encourages the viewer to look beyond the stigma of mental illness. With his art, he explores the boundary between fictional worlds and well-known elements by putting them into a new context. The Polish artist creates his art digitally. His series,“Mini People in the Jungle,” portrays a young child summoning large beasts from deep within the mystical jungle. Each animal has bright, glistening eyes that seem to stare into the soul, forcing the viewer to confront this beast.


Planeta's Bright-Eyed Beasts

Dawid Planeta works his own experiences of mental illness, specifically depression, into these mysterious paintings. Depression "[is] not easy to deal with,” he once said to This is Colossal Magazine. However, Planeta expresses that mental illness has become a creative medium for him, where he has stopped thinking about it as a weakness. Instead, he encourages other artists to “turn it into something brilliant”. At first glance, Planeta's work seems to be "dark, mysterious, and frightening". However, with inspection, one can notice the hint of "excitement, passion and joy" present in his journey to cope with mental health issues.


"Just open your mind and see.” - Dawid Planeta


Dawid Planeta creates a genuine depiction of mental health that universally resonates among those who are struggling with mental illness. In one interpretation, this small man is wandering through the jungle, confronting large beasts that symbolize his fears and weaknesses. Placing the viewer in the shoes of this unidentified man, the paintings essentially force the viewer to confront their own nightmares. However, seeing that the beasts seem to be relatively peaceful and docile, his artwork shines an optimistic light on mental illness by hinting at the possibility of taming one's inner beasts.

"You need to know all parts of life, dark and bright" - Dawid Planeta

These paintings also show those who don’t have experience with depression a different perspective on mental illness - one that does not paint a stigmatized picture of abysmal darkness. Dawid Planeta says that creating his art and contemplating the final effect has helped him grow in his awareness of who he is and what he’s afraid of. “It’s a story of a man descending into darkness and chaos in search of himself," he says. His art continues to inspire artists and his audience to challenge stigmas and defeat the status quo to confront themselves.


Sources: https://www.thisiscolossal.com/2018/05/dawid-planetas-bright-eyed-animal-guides/

https://www.compassionanthology.com/dawid-planeta.html

https://mymodernmet.com/depression-illustration-jungle-animals-dawid-planeta/

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