What motivated you to pursue art and become an artist? Was it a particular event, emotion, or experience that sparked this passion?
From a young age, I have had an unrelenting passion for the arts. Encouraged by my father, who was an amateur painter, I began to draw and paint, and my love for the craft only grew from there. When I turned ten, my father gifted me a small easel and a box of oil colors, which I cherished dearly and which ignited my artistic spark.
My journey towards becoming an artist has been a unique one, filled with diverse experiences that have shaped my creative vision. I began my formal education at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow, Poland, where I studied from 1981-1983. These were difficult years for Poland, marked by international boycotts and embargos, but for me, they were inspiring. As a young artist, I was fascinated by the resilience and creativity of my fellow students, and I learned much about the power of art to unite people and uplift communities.
After my time in Poland, I spent six months in Lofoten, Norway, where I was struck by the natural beauty of the landscape. The rugged mountains and fjords, the endless expanse of the sea, and the ever-changing light all left an indelible impression on me, and I found myself drawn to the interplay between light and shadow, color and texture.
Finally, I spent two years in Mexico from 1988-1989, a place that had always held a special fascination for me. Here, I was able to explore the rich cultural heritage of the country, from the ancient ruins of Teotihuacan to the vibrant street art of Mexico City. I was also deeply inspired by the work of the Mexican muralists, who used art as a means of social and political critique.
All of these experiences have had a profound impact on my artistic process, and have shaped the way I approach my work. For me, travel is an essential part of the creative journey, and I am constantly seeking out new experiences and inspirations that will inform my art.
What is your artistic background, the techniques and subjects you have experimented with so far?
Artwork has always been a source of fascination for me, particularly the tactile nature of its surface. When I first embarked on my artistic journey, I started by creating my own paper, which I would then glue onto a canvas before applying paint. As I progressed, I began experimenting with different surfaces and techniques, which ultimately led me to my current approach of using small spatulas to create a low relief effect in my paintings. This technique has opened up a world of possibilities with light and color, as the tiny shadows cast on the surface of the painting bring the colors to life and create a dynamic interplay between light and shadow throughout the day. This has been a key factor in realizing my artistic vision.
In addition to painting, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with Royal Copenhagen Porcelain in creating unique pieces of porcelain. My role involved designing the objects and decorating their surfaces, which was an exciting challenge. I have also worked with ceramic workshops in Denmark and Spain, where I designed the objects and the craftsmen produced them according to my specifications. I then worked on the surfaces to bring them to life, creating large-scale ceramics that were both visually striking and technically challenging.
Another medium that I have enjoyed working with is glass painting, which offers a unique set of possibilities. This involves working with the structure of the surface and the temperature used in the kiln, which can create a wide range of effects and textures. Through these explorations, I have been able to push the boundaries of my creativity and discover new ways to express myself through art.
Can you tell what sets your work apart from other artists and makes it unique? Specifically, what are the three aspects that differentiate your art?
Painting is a passion of mine, as it allows me to explore new possibilities and experiment in a way that feels almost scientific. What I believe sets my work apart from others is the unique texture that I create on the surface of the canvas. I achieve this through my use of strong, vivid colors that are almost sculpted onto the surface. By layering colors and applying them in a specific way, I am able to create a surface that is both visually and tactilely interesting.
But it's not just the surface texture that I focus on. I also place a lot of emphasis on the way that colors are perceived in my paintings. I want the colors to be so vibrant and striking that they almost jump out of the canvas. This is something that I achieve by using a combination of bold, bright hues, and by applying them in a way that creates a sense of depth and dimension.
Another important aspect of my work is the way that I use light. I feel that it's essential to create my own light within each painting, as it allows me to highlight certain areas and create a sense of movement and energy. I achieve this by carefully selecting my colors and applying the paint in a way that creates a sense of illumination. Ultimately, it's the interplay of surface, color, and light that give my paintings their unique and distinct character.
What is the source of your inspiration?
As an individual, I find my inspiration in the natural world, encompassing both the urban and rural landscapes. My travels have gifted me with numerous memorable experiences and allowed me to encounter a diverse array of individuals. The flavors of food, ranging from sweet to savory, provide me with a never-ending source of inspiration for my creative endeavors. Music, with its various genres and rhythms, is another passion of mine that inspires me. Lastly, the beautiful lines and contours of the landscapes that I encounter leave an indelible mark on my soul, and serve as a constant source of inspiration.
How would you describe your artistic approach? What emotions, sensations, or impressions do you aim to evoke in the viewer?
My ultimate goal is to evoke a sense of deep reflection and positivity in the minds of those who view my artwork. Imagine coming home after a grueling day at work and unwinding in front of one of my paintings. As you take in the colors, shapes and textures, your mind is transported to a happier place and time, bringing you a sense of calm and relaxation. With each stroke of my brush, I strive to create an experience that is both therapeutic and uplifting, leaving a lasting impression on your soul.
How do you typically create your works? Is it a spontaneous process or do you have a long preparatory process that involves technical aspects and inspiration from art classics or other sources?
When I prepare for a new exhibition or commissioned work, I embark on a journey to gather inspiration. The initial phase involves intensive research, which entails taking notes, creating sketches, and capturing photos to aid the creative process. I find that this approach is particularly effective in enabling me to develop a well-rounded idea of what I want to achieve.
Once I have gathered all the necessary material, I begin the process of painting in the studio. This is where the real work begins, and it can be quite slow-going due to the multiple layers and hues involved. As a result, I find that I need to be patient and take my time to ensure that each layer dries properly before moving on to the next one.
Working on multiple pieces simultaneously or in a series is a strategy that I have found to be particularly effective. It allows me to experiment with different techniques and styles without feeling overwhelmed or bogged down by the process. Instead, I can move seamlessly from one piece to the next, building on the ideas and themes that I have already explored.
Overall, I believe that the key to success as an artist is to remain open-minded, curious, and committed to the creative process. By embracing this mindset and taking a thoughtful, deliberate approach to each new project, I am able to produce work that is both meaningful and impactful.
Do you typically prefer using a certain format or medium? If so, could you share why that is the case?
I find an immense sense of fulfillment in expressing my artistic abilities through the medium of canvas art, specifically utilizing oil paint. However, I also relish in the opportunity to engage in collaborative projects with graphic and ceramic workshops. I find it refreshing to escape from the solitude of my studio and immerse myself in the vibrant energy of skilled craftsmen. The creative synergy that emerges from such collaborations is truly invigorating and propels me to push my artistic boundaries further.
Do you create your works at home, in a shared workshop, or in your own workshop? How do you organize your creative work in this space?
The construction of my studio dates back to around 25 years ago, and it is located in a secluded region of Extremadura, Spain, completely immersed in nature. The surroundings are breathtaking, and the peacefulness of the place truly allows me to connect with my creative side. It is worth mentioning that I often alternate between this studio and my smaller one in Copenhagen, as I find inspiration in both environments.
Do you travel for work to meet new collectors, attend fairs or exhibitions? If yes, what benefits do you gain from it?
As an artist, I find great value in establishing meaningful connections with my audience. This is why I always make it a priority to be present at my exhibitions on specific days. It brings me immense joy and fulfillment to engage with collectors, art enthusiasts and individuals who share my passion. I relish the opportunity to engage in genuine conversations and exchange thoughts and opinions. For me, there is something deeply intimate and gratifying about having personal contact, and it allows me to gain valuable insights and perspectives that help me grow as an artist.
In what ways do you envision your work and career as an artist evolving in the future?
As I reflect on my work, I am reminded that growth is a constant process. I strive to achieve my goals, but I am also aware that there is always room for improvement. Sometimes, just as I am about to reach a milestone, I find myself setting the bar even higher. This pursuit is ongoing, and I am committed to staying the course.
Looking ahead, I am excited about the possibilities that my career holds. I am eager to explore new territories, meet diverse groups of people, and tackle fresh challenges. As I continue down this path of professional development, I remain open to new opportunities and ready to embrace whatever comes my way.
Could you tell about the theme, style, or technique you used in your most recent artistic creation?
At present, I find myself engrossed in a rather substantial endeavor, one that has been commissioned by the Danish company's headquarters. The project at hand involves the creation of 18 large-scale paintings that are intended to serve as a transformative and invigorating force in the office environment. I am eagerly working towards the goal of having these paintings installed and on display by the early months of the year 2024. I am thrilled to witness the reactions that these pieces will undoubtedly evoke amongst those who view them.
Could you share with us your most significant exhibition experience?
Throughout my career as an artist, I have been fortunate enough to exhibit my work at numerous locations across the globe. While each exhibition holds a special place in my heart, there are a few that stand out as particularly significant. One such exhibition was at the Biennale of Sao Paulo in 1991. This was an incredibly personal experience for me, as it allowed me to showcase my work alongside some of the most talented artists in the world. Not only did this exhibition help me establish valuable contacts both in Brazil and Japan, but it also opened my eyes to new perspectives and ideas that I had never before encountered.
Another notable exhibition that I had the privilege of participating in was at the Museo Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso in Mexico City in 2003. This exhibition was part of a Danish official visit to Mexico and was inaugurated by our Prime Minister at the time, Anders Fogh Rasmussen. The experience was truly awe-inspiring, as I was able to share my artwork with individuals from across the world who were eager to learn more about my creative process and inspiration.
In 2008, I was invited to exhibit my work at the Museum of Fine Arts in Guadalajara, Mexico. This was an incredible opportunity for me to showcase my work in a new and exciting environment, and I am grateful for the chance to have done so. Additionally, I have been fortunate enough to hold a couple of individual exhibitions in Chelsea, NY at the D.C.A. gallery. These exhibitions were significant and successful in their own right, and I am proud to have been a part of them.
Overall, I feel incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to share my artwork with individuals from all walks of life, and I am grateful for the support and encouragement that I have received throughout my career. Each exhibition has been a unique and valuable experience, and I look forward to continuing to explore new opportunities for growth and creativity in the years to come.
If you had the chance to share a meal with a famous artist, whether they're still with us or not, who would you pick and what would you do to make the night special?
It would be an honor to cordially invite American artist Joan Mitchell to share her invaluable insights on the vibrant New York art scene of the 1950s. We would be delighted to learn more about her later years spent in France and explore her unique perspectives on various topics such as the interplay of colors, the nuances of light, the beauty of nature, the companionship of dogs, and even the challenging issue of underrepresentation of women in the art world. Your contributions to this conversation would undoubtedly be highly valued and deeply appreciated.