Interview: Anna Jung
Luca Curci talks with Anna Jung during MIXING IDENTITIES, second appointment of CANVAS INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2023, held in Venice, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
“My name is Anna Jung, I´m a Germany based artist and architect, born in Poland, since 2001 living near Stuttgart. I grew up in a relatively monochrome environment. Not only in terms of color shades, but also in terms of cultural monotony. In the 80s and 90s, Poland was still very monocultural. When I moved to Germany in 2001, I was fascinated by the diversity of human characters and colors in the cities, fashion and in all corners of life. And the fascination is still there. My origin of an eastern European country still influences my colour palette and the sensitivity in exploration for the beauty in our common and imperfect reality.”
Luca Curci – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
Anna Jung – I grew up in a relatively monochrome environment. Not only in terms of color shades but also in terms of cultural monotony. In the 80s and 90s, Poland was still very monocultural. When I moved to Germany in 2001, I was fascinated by the diversity of human characters and colors in the cities, fashion and all corners of life. And the fascination is still there. My origin in an eastern European country still influences my colour palette and sensitivity in the exploration of the beauty in our common and imperfect reality.
LC – Which artists have somehow had an influence on your work?
AJ – My first touch with art was a book about a Polish painter, Jacek Malczewski, which I found in my parents´ book collection. I suppose it was one of the few art books we owned. I used to trace the paintings with a pencil. They were the faces of older people that I loved to draw. When I got older, I was inspired by Classical Masters, like Michelangelo, whose works I saw during my journey to Rome. But also paintings by Rubens, de Goya and Degas. The perfect body proportions and the facial expressions fascinated me. In thousands of pencil sketches, I studied the perfection of the form and the play of light and shadow on it. Later on, my interest in colors and composition increased continually. Modern painting, especially the Masters from the Beginning of the 20th Century still inspires me a lot as well. I admire the works of Picasso, Matisse, paintings of Modigliani and Georgia O`Keeffe. I also love the way Edward Hopper and Nigel van Wieck depict the reality. There are many artists that I admire and look at, but there is no particular one that alone influences my work.
LC – What issues do you intend to deal with in the future?
AJ – I paint what I see, I paint what I feel, I paint what I miss. With my paintings, I tell stories about things, which I cannot express in words as well. It’s a bit like a diary of my thoughts and experiences, but also dreams and fears. I want to draw attention to something specific, to make visible, what may have become invisible to some of us. I want people to stop and take a look for a moment, in the fast pace of everyday life.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
AJ – I think the most difficult part about every artwork is to know where to stop when the painting is finished, but also whether the painting is coherent all in one. It´s a great challenge to express my thought so that my impression can be passed on to the viewer. One of the most important conditions to develop creativity at all is finding the proper place to focus on the work and not to be disturbed, having enough time as well.
LC – How do you choose your subjects? Is it a reasoned or an instinctive process?
AJ – As I already told you, I paint what I see, I paint what I feel, I paint what I miss. The greatest inspiration comes from the simplicity of living with all its facets. Wherever I am, I always have my sketchbook with me, I take photos, and I observe human behaviours, movements and facial expressions. The light and shadow game on different surfaces moves me greatly. I am also aware of the street’s atmosphere, ongoing nature and most importantly subtle details. My paintings are compositions of these impressions. Finding subjects is usually very instinctive. There are moments, people, and situations, which must be painted. There is usually the sudden urge to paint what I see.
LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the exhibition or as a part of preexisting works?
AJ – When you invited me to join “Mixing Identities”, the paintings already existed. “Espresso Bar” was at this time my latest work, painted in January/February of the year 2023. “The Moments I and II” were painted last year in my former studio.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
AJ – The painting “Espresso Bar” tells the story of a cafe bar employee, a young man, who prepares espresso coffee with great passion every single day. A simple activity that, thanks to his passion, becomes a great thing, something extraordinary. The place and the man are real. I usually spend my lunch break there. You can visit the café bar in Stuttgart. It´s called Herbert´z. The two paintings “The Moment I” and “The Moment II” were painted together, using the same format, the same color palette and the same composition. The painting is an attempt to express the moment of happiness. Such moments of absolute happiness are usually very fluid and pass as quickly as they arise. It´s a trial to catch the moment, like carpe diem, in the painting. When I painted these two similar and yet very different paintings, I asked myself whether I can achieve the same expression with abstract means as with the realistic depiction. Which effect is more intense?
LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our services?
AJ – It was a wonderful experience to make an acquaintance with you in Venice. I had to deal with professionalism and politeness. I like the concept of bringing different types of art, like painting, movies, dance and sculpture together. I can absolutely recommend the cooperation with ITSLIQUID GROUP.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
AJ – Exhibiting art professionally always takes an artist one step further and offers encounters and opportunities to promote art. ITSLIQUID GROUP is definitely professional and offers great facilities and a wonderful location in the centre of Venice.
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
AJ – I can very well imagine participating in future events.