Interview: Irina Matiash
Luca Curci talks with Irina Matiash during CONTEMPORARY VENICE 2021 – THE SECRET GARDEN, at Misericordia Archives.
Fashion illustration becomes a self-sufficient art object in the hands of Irina Matiash while remaining the means of brainstorming for fashion designers. Layers of contrasting colours, spots, dots and sloppy lines are mastered by the artist and turn rough sketches into aesthetic drawings and paintings. Be it red, yellow or blue, color in her artworks is always vivid, the contrast of black and white is bright. Women’s faces appear in Irina’s art more often than in other subject matter. Yet, these portraits can hardly be personalized and tend to sum up contemporary trends often imposed by fashion. Irina plays with popular brands and labels sometimes being critical about them, and sometimes praising them. Voluminous jewellery attracts artist’s drawings and paintings as it is something that inspires her in fashion designers.
Luca Curci – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
Irina Matiash – I’ve always wanted to be an artist. But none of my loved ones believed in me. They said that this was not a profession, that I would never earn money even for my own food, and that all places in the hall of fame were already occupied by great creators. And I decided not to believe in myself either. Or maybe it was just not the time. One day there comes a time when we must take responsibility for our lives. Without looking back at relatives and the opinion of society, without the pursuit of sweet stability and prestige, without fear of making a mistake and turning in the wrong direction. One day we must ask ourselves the most important question: “What do I want?” – and honestly answer it. When it was my time for questions and answers I made one of the most important decisions in my life: never to return to the accounting department and follow the call of my childhood dream. Without fear of starting everything from scratch, I began to learn to draw professionally. It took me thousands of strokes to call myself a fashion illustrator. But each of these strokes brought great pleasure and the feeling that it was mine.
LC – What are your thoughts while you paint? Do you have any habits or rituals while you work?
IM – There are no special rituals I don’t even turn on the music. Before painting, I am looking for inspiration from fashion shows and magazine pages.
LC – How do you choose your subjects? Is it a reasoned or an instinctive process?
IM – My subject is people’s faces and clothes. I love contrasting color combinations, geometric prints, huge accessories, and interesting and memorable faces. Although portrait resemblance is not my goal I am always experiencing to get away from the “original”. I don’t just sketch clothes I am trying to let them pass through myself and my feelings.
LC – How do you feel when you see your work completed?
IM – If I admire the illustration the feeling of satisfaction and good mood does not leave me all day. Unfortunately next day it passes and we have to start over.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the festival?
IM – The festival is like a breath of fresh air after a pandemic, like spring after winter. I am happy that it took place. It is amazing to plunge into the labyrinths of human consciousness and the endless ways of its manifestation, to observe the freedom of expression in abstract art that either sets boundaries or breaks them.
LC – Can you explain something about the artwork you have in our exhibition?
IM – My illustration is based on the ERDEM SS2021 collection which was created by Erdem Moralioglu in his London house for four months of quarantine. The audience-less runway imagery was shot in Epping Forest the oldest woodland in London. In the video, the girls glide like Greek nymphs along a forest path.
LC – What are your suggestions about our services? Is there something more we can provide to artists?
IM – The best thing you could do you have already done! I am happy to join your team and culture hub at least during the exhibition!
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
IM – Unifying and inspiring creative people is awesome! For them it is really essential to not retire into their shell, to have opportunities to share ideas and projects with the world. It brings them a lot of inspiration and empowers them to move forward with new ideas and sources of creativity.