Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Interview with Aleksandra Waliszewska

Is destruction more fascinating than decay?

** Both phenomena are inspiring in their own respects. Myself, I would choose to be indestructible.

I often perceive death as coming from the inside. In you drawings, threat is often animalistic. Your characters are prey. Do you feel paranoid sometimes?

** I like animals a lot. I like to watch them, but I'm afraid of aggressive animals that might threaten me. It's not very frequent that I encounter such hostile animals, which is why I rather adore, than flee from them.

Do you also use them as symbols?

** There are no hidden symbols in my paintings.

Do you have a totem animal?

** I love many species of animals but I wouldn't describe any of them as totemic.

Could we interpret some of your drawings as the loss of childhood?

** The fact that I paint children is not based on any deeper

forethought. They just constitute an interesting form for me.

Do you think that thoughts, when too peremptory, can constitute an obstacle to fascinations, emotions and intimateness?

** Thinking often remains in opposition to emotion. Art is often quite weak due to over-intellectualizing it, particularly if arising out of wrongly understood ambition. Artists often do what they deem to be a proper thing to do, not something that truly interests them. I have the impression there is less and less emotion in art, rather coldly calculated boredom is predominant.

Many pictures of yours are quite peaceful. They seem to have sentimental and spiritual dimensions… Am I right?

** I try to depict various emotions. Sometimes utter peacefulness can be a background for an immense drama.

I saw that you used to paint. Could you tell us about this phase?

** I'm bored to death by 99% of so-called contemporary art. Old painting is still very vital for me, it makes me really emotional while approaching it. Maybe this is why I wanted to make things that would be on a comparable level, but I realized that the task is impossible to accomplish. Nevertheless, I tried my hand in tradtion-based oil painting. And I'm happy about it as a phase.

Is there any old painting you’d advise us to look at?

** I'm not trying to convince anyone to enjoy old painting. It is easily accessible through books, Internet etc. It is hard to recommend specific works as this is very personal. Regarding my personal favourites, these would be "Pieta of Avignon" and "The Coronation of the Virgin", both by Enguerrand Quarton.

“Contemporary art” is almost always displayed on white uniform walls… And each artwork stands alone… Where do think your work is better to look at? In a cluttered place? In a book? On the white wall?

** I like my works to be reproduced, book would be a lovely idea, but I also think of T-shirts, buttons etc. Regarding exhibitions, I was thinking of making an open air exhibition among the trees. My father breeds horses and he owns a large stretch of land that could nicely serve this purpose. But technically, it would be complicated so for the time I restrict myself to white walls.

Where do you draw? Do you need to be alone?

** When I work I have to be alone. Even my boyfriend is banned from entering my workplace.

Do you pay attention to yourself and your surroundings when you draw (the light, the way you perceive your body and etc…) or are you only focused on your picture?

** I always paint in daylight. I usually can easily focus on it. Sometimes I get distracted by my own leg or something, but otherwise I try not to get crazy.

How would you qualify your gestures when drawing? Are they precise, slow, nervous, impulsive… Dreamy? Imperious?

** I have no idea.

Are you very productive? How many drawings do you make each week?

** I paint for about five hours each day. About 12 gouaches get done in a week.

What sort of reaction do people have when they look at your pictures?

** I try not to be obsessed by opinions of other people. Painters are their own with their work, and this is good. However, it's nice that I have some followers.

How did you evolve in your artistic environment?

** My paintings were appreciated in my early working phase. Already when I studied at the academy I had solo exhibitions. At that time, it was unusual in Poland. Now there are many more galleries that often show very young artists. After I changed my style, I stayed in the background a bit, it was only possible to see my new works on my Flickr page.

Is there any project you want to tell us about?

** I never work on anything that could be called a "project". People who blather about their various "projects" are ridiculous. I simply paint.


crippaXXXalmqvist said...

veeery cool art there. good stuff!
thanx for an interesting read/interview, gaspard!

Human Mollusk said...

yes, really good post! very interesting interview and intriguing artwork.

Robert Adam Gilmour said...

""Art is often quite weak due to over-intellectualizing it, particularly if arising out of wrongly understood ambition.""

This causes never-ending annoyance to me too. But recently I heard a bunch of highly conceptual artists consider their work to be emotional and childish and I dont see how blatant social commentary could come from pure emotional expression.

MD Encolpius said...

Nice post. As far as the artist's interviewed opinion on art, whatever works for her...

Aeron said...

I'm a great fan, Aleksandra was kind enough to contribute an artwork for a dinosaur themed online art thing I'm doing at Monster Brains awhile back, something that is taking longer than expected due to a vast list of things on my to do list.