Interview: Agnieszka Kopczynska Kardas
Luca Curci talks with Agnieszka Kopczynska Kardas during Venice International Art Fair 2021 at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
“I am a painter, colors are my most important way of reacting to the surrounding world. I use contrasting colors to shout and move. I create a series of color combinations regarding the most important events in my life. The last finished series was entitled Aliens. They talked about loneliness, loss, alienation. I painted the Aliens series in vivid, cold and flat colors to make them look alien, not existing in the natural environment. These paintings were supposed to move, shock with colors. Now I have the pleasure to add new images from the “2020” series. The images are darker. They tell about the fear and uncertainty that enveloped everyone during the Covid 2020 epidemic. Vivid colors were as if eaten by dark prussian blue and blacks. However, small orange and pink accents remained in these paintings, like flashes of hope for a return to normal life. As usual, the series will contain about 20 images. It is a story of human fear, powerlessness and the fight for hope. How will the colors of the series change, I don’t know? How will life affect me in fear and uncertainty?”
LUCA CURCI – What is art for you?
AGNIESZKA KOPCZYNSKA KARDAS – Art is a form of reaction. It helps me name and organise my emotions. Finding the right form and place for them. To find myself, to SURVIVE. It is a way of looking for one’s way in a space of alienation, abandonment, loneliness. Reaching for colours means coding these states. I constantly return to many of them as to old friends, i.e. blue is always with me.
LC – What is your background? What experience has most influenced your work?
AKK – After graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk with a degree in painting, I started to look for my path. In my large format, oil-based graduation works and for the first years of my artwork, the colors of earth, so I used reds, browns, greys. The school comes from the tradition of Polish Colorism, and it is difficult to find vivid, strong colours here. They came to me much later. The first enlightenment came during my wanderings through forests, fields and the wet meanders of the river. The natural landscape, which I had longed for as an escape, a way to breathe, soon turned out to be intertwined with elements that were completely “incongruous”, alien. I was inspired by the variety of textures, their origins and interactions. I noticed the non-matching elements existing next to each other, interpenetrating, naturally woven into the scene. Subconsciously, I return to collisions, clashes, which over time become embedded in everyday life, creating stations, stones, holds. This has led me to a series in watercolour, gouaches, collages, oil paintings and most recently with resin based.
LC – What is your creative process like?
AKK – I work in a studio combined with a garden so every day I design, paint and realise my ideas. Each series of paintings is a collection of impressions, impulses, emotions. Dressing them in forms, colours and textures is a process of exploration and experimentation based on sensitivity. I know what I want to convey, I know how I feel and I do everything to make it resound.
LC – Do visitors’ suggestions enrich you and your art?
AKK – Of course they do. It’s important to put your work to the test therefore, I don’t close myself off from the public and I allow any interpretation. I welcome every suggestion, thought and gaze at my colours. The contact with visitors fascinates me, but it does not affect the subject and style of my works.
LC – How do you feel when you see your work completed?
AKK – Over the years I have learned to become more and more organised so I plan my series of works. This allows me to clearly identify the moment when the intended goal has been achieved and the work is considered finished. Then I feel happy. I certainly think then of the first people who will see my work. I look forward to it like a child. Will they share my emotions, what will move them most?
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the festival?
AKK – The theme of being lost in spaces, layers of everyday life, alienation has been close to me for a long time. Colour and texture are my medium. Infinite. A way to tame incomprehensible events. If they are there to be given forms, textures and colours then I can accept them. The unpredictability of events is like a collage of diverse planes, textures and colours.
LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this exhibition? How is it connected to the theme of the entire festival?
AKK – I began these pieces in April 2020, in an atmosphere of fear, loneliness and forced isolation. The events that began in mid-March 2020, one after another at an increasing pace, overwhelmed everyone. Powerlessness and fear were the first paralyzing feelings. I found myself in the studio, reflecting upon my paintings. I started to paint, searching for normality, routine, ordinary everyday life. When expressing my feelings through colours and forms, the colours began to fade away, eaten by black and Prussian blue. Slowly, overnight, faint stripes of light were left from the old oranges and roses. Faint hope. The translucent forms of sharp colour, though small, act very strongly against the black background, they are like a signal, a light, a flash in the dark. They are like energy extracted from powerlessness. Strength and hope.
LC – What do you think about the organisation of our event?
AKK – To participate in the Venice International Art Fair is an honour and a distinction for me. The organization of the event is wonderful. I really like the presentation of my works. The three blue and dark blue canvases juxtaposed with the hanging sculpture create the impression of being immersed in the deep ocean or suspended above an open space. The special place – old Venice and the palaces – creates a beautiful atmosphere. Although I could not come to the event, the interiors and open windows of the palaces gave the impression of sun, warmth, sea, air.
LC – Do you think the ITSLIQUID GROUP could be an opportunity for artists?
AKK – I hope that my works will meet the interest of the public, and among them there will be a curator or a gallery with whom I could cooperate on permanent basis. This is my dream and my goal. I am really excited that the exhibition is being visited in large numbers, described in the media and actively promoted. I hope to find such an opportunity.
LC – What are your suggestions about our services? Is there something more we can provide to artists?
AKK – Always be as open to the diversity and richness of art as you are!