Sylvia Rybak is a 19-year-old photographer from Warsaw, now living and studying in Berlin, who turns kitsch into art. By building unique sets inspired by absurdities in her everyday life, she explores the unconscious.

In Sylvia Rybak’s photographic world, humans are reduced to something purely visual. She playfully arranges isolated body parts, like hands, alongside other objects.

“I am mainly inspired by things that are considered kitsch and explore them as aesthetic phenomena, similarly like in the Camp aesthetic sensibility. Sometimes just one object triggers a whole range of ideas. An ashtray I found in the flea market inspired me to make a whole series about pseudo-glamour and beauty,” she explains.

Creating art is a way for her to escape reality. Sylvia carefully collects all ideas that appear in her head, and when she has a free moment, she returns to those ideas and implements them using photography. “I spend much more time preparing the concept and composition of the photographs than actually making them. I always have every element of the photograph prepared before I enter the studio, and I treat photography as a way of documenting my ideas more often than as a separate artistic device.”

Still life diptych of one rose with a finger inside and the other one of women surrounded by hands
Hand holding a mirror in front of a plant
Standing legs with butterflies and hands on them