Agnieszka Pilat


            I don’t paint people. I paint time, which is a universal concept that can only be described through a visual metaphor. I’ve used portraiture to represent the idea of time and in turn have developed my own artistic lexicon.

            The figures I use are meant to spark an emotional reaction in the viewer, adding to the meaning of my paintings in a way that cannot be matched by non-figurative or abstract work. I believe that portraiture is the strongest tool in visual work because it relates directly to the human experience. 

            Most of my paintings are of the same little girl, who is a metaphor for time. She’s been a model for my work over the last two years and will continue to be in the future. Her style of dress, hairstyle etc. do not change in the paintings, and I always paint her using the same color palette. Plus, the size of my work remains roughly the same. So as many variables as possible remain constant, except for the model herself because she is a real person, changing as time progresses. By painting a model that changes over time, my whole body of work becomes time based. If you look at my paintings across the years, you will see the impact of time on the model and on my personal style. It’s a decades-long commitment on my part.

            I believe that time is our most precious resource, and I paint to preserve it and prevent it from fading away. My work examines the tragedy of time’s progression and grapples with questions about the nature of time, how we value it and how we can come to terms with our own futures.

            I once struggled to find enough time at the easel, which was often the result of lost or wasted time. Then I wondered if imagining time as if it was a young child would change how people took care of it. Since that moment, I’ve come to believe that we would be more purpose driven and careful with time if we imagined it as a human figure.

​            A Marcel Proust novel, In Search of Lost Time, loosely inspired my exploration of time. His work tries to capture time through written language, and he spent over 12 years obsessing over this concept. While he turned to words in his search for answers, I’ve used brushstrokes.

            The movement of time is tragic in the way it runs in direct opposition to life. How can we reconcile the fact that the future is coming while our end also approaches? This line of questioning is at the core of the human experience and is a key element in my work. We don’t have an answer to what lies ahead, and that lack of knowing can be horrifying and destructive.

            Still, time’s progression gives us constant opportunities to evolve. Each day we’re granted choices that can make our futures better and create new beginnings. Plus, being aware of time can make us more purpose driven and efficient in how we live our lives. Artists have considered mortality for centuries, and my work is a continuation of that tradition.

            The numbers represent the amount of hours I spent at the easel working on a particular painting. I keep track of my schedule and when my work is finished, I stamp the hours directly on the canvas, most often right next to my signature. It’s a visual journal of the time I spend working and another angle on the concept of time.

Agnieszka Pilat Artwork


Born 1983. Polish.



2014, BFA, Academy of Art University, San Francisco, CA


Selected Shows

2015 Cecylia Bell Gallery, A Moral Code, Solo Exhibition, Hartsville, SC 2015 ACA, Art Design

Consultants, Cincinnati, OH

2015 OPA 24th Annual Exhibition, Cutter & Cutter Fine Art St. Augustine, Florida

2015 Rochester Museum of Fine Arts Biennial 2015 Las Laguna Gallery, Holding Moments Group Show, Laguna Beach, CA

2015 La Luz de Jesus, Laluzapalooza Group Show, Los Angeles, CA 2015 After Dark IV - A National

Juried Gallery Exhibition Greg Moon Art ,Taos, New Mexico

2015 Studio Gallery, Tiny Group Show, San Francisco, CA 2015 National Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils, St. Augustine, FL

2014 Spring Noaps Exhibit, Bolivar, MO

2014 The Cannery, A Moral Code, Solo Exhibition, San Francisco, CA

2014 AAU Spring Show, San Francisco, CA

2014 Richeson 75 Figure/Portrait Juried Show, Kimberly, WI

2014 Charvin Winter Paining Contest, Raleigh, NC

2013 AAU Spring Show, San Francisco, CA


Selected Press

2015 The Artist Magazine, Make Fine Art Your Focus, May Issue

2015 American Art Collector, Celebrating Art of Women by Women, October

2015 American Art Collector, The Figure in Art, December Issue

2015 American Art Collector, The Artist Focus Special, October Issue

2015 Coker College Press, Pilat Painting Exhibition, October Issue


Selected Collections

Coker College, Hartsville, SC

The Rochester Museum of Fine Arts, Rochester NH

Private collections in Poland, United States, Canada and China.