Interview: Judy Verdnik
Luca Curci talks with Judy Verdnik during the 6th Edition of ROME INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR, at Medina Art Gallery
With realistic landscape painting, the native Taiwanese Hwang-Shen Chu-Jen (Judy Verdnik) successfully laid her artistic foundation at a young age. Realistic painting shaped her in such a way that she remained true to it after moving to Germany and she feels connected to European painting styles in an amazing way. The trompe-l’oeil works, which form an essential element of her artistic work to date, deserve special attention. However, it would be inaccurate for the painter to commit herself solely to this type of painting that deceives the eyes. Diverse impulses and ideas are taken up and implemented with a wide variety of stylistic devices, such as depicting full-body self-portraits made of one’s own hair or hundreds of steel nails. This can be irritating at times, but also arousing interest. The works reflect the personal impressions, experiences, and feelings of the painter, but also contain more or less coded statements on social, political and environmental issues.
The artist is completely uncomplicated and very sociable in her external relationships. Mainly in the Franconian region and in Germany, she has been involved in established exhibitions, tenders for art prizes by municipalities and commercial companies, and open-air campaigns with international artists since the mid-1990s. Occasional touches of her art with economic business life are compatible for her, if she can contribute adequately to the respective project. After a longer maternity leave, the artist took part in digital exhibitions in Venice, Amsterdam, Zurich, and Miami with her new portraits and still lifes during the corona pandemic and recently also exhibited in public space again. The artist names the aims of her work as encouraging the viewer “to think”, “to discover” joy in observing and to offer an “alternative to abstract modernism, video and digital art”.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Judy Verdnik – Art today is very diverse, ranging from classic painting to abstract art, sculpture, video, or digital art, but also performance and of course music. For me personally, art is everything that can move my heart and me. For me, this includes above all classical painting and music.
LC – What is your background?
JV – I am a trained painter of watercolor, acrylic, egg tempera and oil painting. While my main focus at the beginning of my career was watercolor and acrylic painting, I later switched to egg tempera and oil painting, which I favored. However, there are also works that were made with my own hair or steel nails.
LC – Which experience influenced your work the most?
JV – During the years of my work I had the opportunity to work in different countries with international artists. I was able to experience and try out different painting techniques myself. I decided early on for realistic, pictorial painting because abstract art forms or mixed media did not fulfil me. After I was able to admire high-quality trompe-l’oeil paintings (deception of the eye) by some artists, it was only a small step towards this technique for me. For me, this includes representational still life as well as portraits. Imagination and fantasy are essential to my work, no matter how figurative or personal my works may be.
LC – Is there an unrealized or unrealizable project, even a crazy one, that you would like to work on?
JV – I would like to build a “crazy house” with unusual shapes, materials, and spaces. Since I am persistent, motivated, very skilled with my hands and also make my own furniture, I have good prerequisites for this.
LC – What is it like to be an artist these days?
JV – As mentioned above, art is now very diverse and training in painting techniques and design is not required for every style. Writers need to be proficient in the language, and musicians need to be able to read and play music. Artists should also have basic knowledge and be trained, instead of simply creating “something” out of color and materials.
LC – Do you use art to express something specific? Is it your means of expression?
JV – Art is not only a suitable means for me to express and show my thoughts, my feelings, and my ideas, for example. The same applies to other creative people such as sculptors, singers, musicians, dancers, or performance artists.
LC -Did you enjoy working with us?
JV – Yes, mainly because you offer artists from all over the world the opportunity to have their works professionally organized by the ITSLIQUID GROUP and exhibited in cosmopolitan cities such as Rome, Barcelona or London. The exhibition in Rome was incentive enough for me to visit and experience this historic city and its cultural assets. It is not for nothing that they say that all roads lead to Rome.