Piotr Uklański was born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1968. He studied painting in the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and photography at the Cooper Union School for Advancement of Science and Art, in New York.
Piotr Uklański has emerged on the New York art scene in the mid-90s with an emblematic artwork, the Untitled (Dance Floor) - a sculpture that integrates the legacy of minimalism with the blurring of art and entertainment that characterizes the current era.
Dividing his time between New York and Warsaw, Uklański has constructed a diverse body of work that exploits as many types of media (sculpture, photography, collage, performance, and film) as it promiscuously absorbs cultural references. His work has been internationally exhibited in various contexts including the Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, The 50th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia 2003, the 26th Sao Paolo Biennale 2004, Centre Pompidou in Paris, Ludwig Museum in Cologne, Kunsthalle Basel, Wiener Seccession, and Palazzo Grassi in Venice.
Uklański's work often draws polemical reactions since the artist does not shy away from potentially controversial subjects. His photographic series 'Untitled (The Nazis)' caused protests when exhibited in The Photographers Gallery in London, in 1998, and was destroyed in a publicity stunt staged by a celebrated Polish actor while on view in Zacheta Gallery in Warsaw, in 2000. Uklański's billboard 'Untitled (John Pope II)', on the other hand, when exhibited on the streets of Warsaw, was spontaneously turned into a memorial shrine after the Pope's death in 2005.
In 2006, Uklański debuted his first feature-length film entitled Summer Love: The First Polish Western. Written, produced and directed by Uklański, this allegorical western features Polish film stars Boguslaw Linda and Katarzyna Figura as well as Val Kilmer in the role of the Dead Man. Summer Love has received numerous accolades, including its premiere as part of the official selection of the 2006 Venice Film Festival and its nomination for the Gucci Group Award in 2007. It has been screened at the Whitney Museum of American Art and is being theatrically released in the US in Winter/Spring 2008.