Interview: Petra Forman
Luca Curci talks with Petra Forman during Venice International Art Fair 2021 in Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
I am an Austrian abstract emerging artist, living and working in Croatia, on the Dalmatian Adriatic south coast in Korcula. I exhibited my work on international art fairs, presenting my art in great galleries throughout the year, like New York, Venice, Madrid, Paris, Miami, Vienna and also virtual exhibitions in London and Milano. Finding inspiration in nature and the beauty of the Adriatic sea, my work translates my emotions into shapes, textures and colours. My biggest inspiration comes from the beauty of the Croatian landscape, but especially so in my art studio in the beautiful Adriatic coast from Korcula with the most beautiful view. Art was a passion I felt since childhood, ever since then I have been creative and enjoyed to express myself artistically in various different forms, but from the last year I had rediscovered and developed further my passion for painting. Each painting has its own story, but I would like each viewer to see something personal in it, some kind of echo in his soul. Painting for me is brilliant meditation and express my emotions, state of mind and needs of constant change and freedom. My way is knowledge and perception through working out details and observing the process of creating art. I was born in 1968 in Austria and currently mostly living and working in Croatia, on the Dalmatian Adriatic coast of Korcula, with a fantastic outdoor studio directly on the sea. After the Master’s degree study in Executive Management MBA – General Management in Vienna I was working many years as Country Leader for a BigData & Data Science company from Berlin. Before I was working in various webprojects as business unit leader to create webplatforms for big companys incl. webdesign & usability concepts.In addition to my business career, I always attended master classes by various artists to learn about different techniques and materials the last 20 years.
LUCA CURCI – What is art for you?
PETRA FORMAN – Art is a wonderful balance between dealing with nature, the world and myself. While painting I am in a different sphere and experience a sense of happiness which I try to bring on canvas. I use a wide variety of materials. Everyone has a different approach to art. For me, the colours have to attract and shine, even if my work is heavily influenced by natural colours. I aim to give the viewer the opportunity to manifest his/her own world and interpretation in the painting.
LC – What are your thoughts while you paint? Do you have any habits or rituals while you work?
PF – When I start a new piece, I usually have already dealt with the artwork and the colour composition. Sometimes I use materials such as pieces from the sea or packaging materials that I want to incorporate into my artworks. My paintings are created over several weeks. I spend many hours just looking at unfinished work, gradually working towards my favourite part of the painting process, which is looking at my painting and realizing it is finished.
LC – What is your creative process like?
PF – My art is all about pursuing harmony and balance found in nature. It is inspired by the layers and textures, which add a sense of dimension to the paintings. A blend of Croatian minimalism with a hint of ancient mysticism. The process of creation is completely organic and spontaneous. When it emerges on the canvas, I convey a thought that is highly emotional and personal yet at the same time universal; It speaks of places unseen, but at the same time comforting and familiar. Like memories of a place we feel we’ve been before, but can’t quite recall all the details of the experience. My paintings are often influenced by music and I relate them to lyrics that try to capture and convey my thoughts in the artwork. Striving for depth and intensity I use multiple layers of paint, grainy or rough textures, embracing the beauty of decay by including rust or cracked structures in my paintings. I also like to incorporate into my work, natural materials from the sea, like corals or seaweed and experimenting with rust, wood and self-made marble powder. When I create my artwork, I let myself be inspired by my personal perception of the world, full of emotions. I dive deep into my inner consciousness. My creative process gives rise to expressive compositions of colours and structures. Using colour as language, my work comes alive with emotion through the movement of the structure and luscious layers of pigment. Much like memories, each painting is filled with layer upon layer of paint, building a rich history into each piece.
LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
PF – Each painting has its own story, but I aim to give each viewer a personal connection, like an echo of his or her soul. Painting is a way for me to meditate, express my emotions, state of mind and satisfy my need for constant change and freedom. My path is knowledge and perception, working out details and observing the process of creating art. The desire for aesthetics, beauty and clarity is reflected in all of my work. Both in my professional years in web design and usability, where the clarity and simplicity of the lines as well as the interplay of colours ensured a comprehensive picture, as well as in painting, in which I try to transmit harmony in all my pictures and try to capture this in all of my works. I aim for a mood in which you can immerse yourself in the picture and find harmony and balance and be positively drawn into the picture and allow each viewer their own interpretation. When I paint, I feel like I am in a different sphere and I love to immerse myself in this world and create new meditative works.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
PF – Nowadays it is very important to use social media and different platforms to become a well-known artist, such as NFT a new medium on the art market that I find very exciting and which I just start to try.
For me, ART can touch in many different ways, everyone has a different point of view – ART has to touch the soul. An artwork touched me when, after a first look, I go back to the picture and looked at it closely, and these are the works of art that I would like to bring onto the canvas.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this festival? How did it inspire you?
PF – I am very enthusiastic about the entire festival, especially the selected presentation rooms, but also the personal interviews with interesting artists from all over the world, as well as the great opening. This festival stands out from the rest and I can only recommend it to be there.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
PF – It was a pleasure to be part of this event. The organization was perfect and that in such difficult times. Absolutely great event.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
PF – It was absolutely fantastic and great to work with the ITSLIQUID GROUP. Everyone was helpful at all times and everything was very professional. I was also impressed by the flexibility of the team to change the date twice due to the COVID rules and to make it possible for visitors to visit this great exhibition.
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
PF – The ITSLIQUID GROUP is something very special and positively different. It connects ART – DESIGN – ARCHITECTURE and for me that belongs together. Every profession requires a creative process to create something special and beautiful that has an impact on people.
LC – What are you hoping to communicate to the viewer through your work?
PF – I aim to draw the viewer into my painting, trigger a positive emotion in the viewer and encourage them to experience and feel the painting. I want my paintings to encourage accessing our sensations, feelings and thoughts, which are often hidden deep within us. It should be a trigger to integrate parts of ourselves that we thought were lost in order to feel “whole” again at some point. My paintings cannot simply be translated into words. They cannot be read like a text. They speak their own language. Through the self-interpretation of the viewer, spontaneous images appear, which allow us to give shape and colour to the subconscious.
LC – What kind of an artist do you ultimately see yourself?
PF – To me, being an artist means asking questions and staying true to your individual artistic development and giving shape to uncertain spaces through personal perception. In meditative sessions, accompanied by music, images are created that very often capture the Adriatic Sea, Croatian mysticism or reflect seasonal changes.