Mr. Sawka studied art, printmaking and architecture during a period of political ferment throughout Eastern Europe, including the widespread student protests throughout Poland in 1968 that set off a brutal government crackdown on dissidents.
His poster designs for avant-garde theater groups became well known for their wordplay and their deadpan style, in which symbols of protest were often stitched into the graphics.
By the mid-'70s, foreign art critics had begun noticing the black humor in his work and raving about his subtle style of anti-authoritarianism.
what's the Sawka's secret?
1- go against the grain (political, social),
2- use hand held typeface,
3- the image says it all,
4- humor drives the design,
Awards: 1975 Oscar de la Peinture in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France for painting and the Gold Medal at the 1978 Warsaw Poster Biennial. In 1981, when martial law was imposed in Poland, the AFL-CIO sponsored a bipartisan fundraiser that sold Sawka's Solidarity poster in the millions to provide immediate support to the besieged Solidarity movement. In 1989, Sawka designed a 10-story tall set for The Grateful Dead's 25th Anniversary tour. In 1993, he created his first full multi-media spectacle, "The Eyes" in Japan. This was the beginning of his collaboration with Japanese studios and corporations, which includes the creation of high-tech interactive sculptures and monumental installations, as well as designs for full-scale monumental architecture. Sawka designed "The Tower of Light Cultural Complex" for Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., presented to the Royal Family in 1996.