Interview: Weronika Dylag | ITSLIQUID

Interview: Weronika Dylag

Interviews | February 5, 2023 |

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Image courtesy of Weronika Dylag

Interview: Weronika Dylag
Luca Curci talks with Weronika Dylag, the winner of ARTIST OF THE MONTH – DECEMBER 2022.

Weronika Aaron Dyląg is a Warsaw-based graphic designer who took up painting five years ago. Her graphic design experience, very much visible in her early work, strongly influences her art. Her interest in psychology and social interactions as well as her conviction that the ability to express and experience positive emotions is a way of maintaining mental health dictates her colour palette. In 2021, she became interested in acrylic paint, but working with fluid acrylic paint alone was not satisfactory. Weronika began experimenting with acrylic mediums and paint proportions, eventually landing on blowing the paint with air instead of using brushes. Six years ago, she returned to painting working with acrylics. In her recent art, she has focused on psychology and positive emotions by dissecting colour, form and composition. Dylag’s inspiration comes from the works of Yago Hortal, Nicolaos Schizas, Orlando Bloom, Lauren Mycroft, and Jan Kalab as well as from her professional graphic design experience.

To emphasize the elusiveness of emotional states and reality itself, the artist developed a technique that allows her to work with fluid paint and flows of air with only a few brushstrokes. This technique allows Weronika to keep a thin layer of paint and create, with almost no brushstrokes, paintings in a print-like style. There is a freeze of motion noticeable in the paintings and a paper-like paint folding created with a rapid change of air direction. Weronika Dylag works on white, blueish, black, red and raw linen backgrounds – usually one colour to make the interaction of the colours stand out. Her interest in psychology and the need to represent positive emotions in paintings were born out of a deep conviction that mental health maintenance relies on a steady focus on positive aspects of life. As she puts it: “Our realities grow stale and difficult at times. I intend my work to be a stop where viewers can recharge and energize to move forward against the adversities of life”.

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Image courtesy of Weronika Dylag

Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Weronika Dylan – For me, it is a form of expression that is vast enough to encapsulate all – variety of forms, ways of understanding the world, perceiving it, understanding and discovering ourselves, different materials, and colour palettes. If we think of cave paintings, Chinese calligraphy masters’ paintings like Wang Xizhi’s, Vermeer’s paintings, Hilma af Klint’s geometry paintings or abstract works of Chueng Che or Helen Frankenthaler – they are all so different. Their purpose was different, their techniques, and subject matters. But they all have this in common – they were an expression of human thought. My art is for me a way to express my thoughts and feelings in a visual way stressing out what is most important to me.

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Image courtesy of Weronika Dylag

LC – Which subject are you working on?
WD – At the moment my work revolves around mental health and positive psychology. According to WHO, depression in high-income countries is the second cause of death after heart disease. But we tend to ignore mental health (although the shift in this area has begun). We need education. There is a lot of pain and problems on a global level like the war in Ukraine, Turkey and Syria dealing with the aftermath of earthquakes, Syria and its domestic war, protests in Iran, economic crisis and I could count and count… Moreover, we all have a lot to deal with in our everyday life too. It can be overwhelming. And as the art world is reflecting the world there is a lot of pain and problem-oriented works too. I wanted to create something that will be in opposition to that, a counterweight. So I focused on positive feelings, relationships, and neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins – those things that reinforce us. I intend my work to be a stop where viewers can recharge and energize to move forward against the adversities of life.

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Image courtesy of Weronika Dylag

LC – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
WD – It was a journey (laugh). I think every painter starts by painting what she/he knows. I was painting the architecture of the city I live in – Warsaw. I used acrylic paint and brushes. But I was not satisfied. I take pictures too, so it started being boring to recreate with paint what I can photograph. So I started researching and then experimenting. I have fallen in love with Helen Frankenthaler’s works. Big, bold and so beautiful! I wanted to know more about the technique. I used to work with oils but for some reason, I liked acrylics more. So I started to experiment with different media to dilute the paint and delay the moment of drying. I also knew that people use hair dryers to spread the paint, So I started to experiment with that. That is how a painting called “Endorphins” was brought to life. But soon enough I wanted to have an even bigger stream of air. At the moment I create some of my paintings in one go and others are created in many sessions to make sure that every layer of paint is dry before I add another. Recently I started adding poured lines and drops of paint to create more organic forms.

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Image courtesy of Weronika Dylag

LC – What are your thoughts while you paint? Do you have any habits or rituals while you work?
WD – I do have rituals, that is for sure. The moment I cross the threshold of my studio I turn the music on. It may be Justin Horowitz, it may be Hans Zimmer, but it may be salsa music (I used to take lessons). I do my coffee or tea, sit down and look for a few minutes. I let the colours and music sink in. For some of my paintings, I create simple drawings – instructions if you may. Just to write down the thought process and to keep a clear mind. Others are done in the spur of the moment. While doing these works I go into an almost meditative state. The Ego melts down and for the moment I become one with the canvas. The canvas is me. And although I do see myself as a more down-to-earth person, for me it is a highly spiritual act of creation.

LC – How is your creative process?
WD – I do not have strict rules in my creative process but I can certainly distinguish different stages. I do quite a lot of research on a vast amount of subjects and artists. At the moment I am making myself acquainted with the works of Chuang Che and I make notes of what I see, and what seems interesting to me. After the research stage is done, the notes are read, and the thought process is initiated. How can I incorporate the elements I like? Should I? Do they fit into my practice? Will it work well together? These are the questions I work with and depending on the answer I either add something to my practice – like read recently that I have added to my primary colour palette – or I leave it as it is. And then there is the fun part – experiments. I love to experiment and check if something works the way I thought it will. To explore new ways to see what happens. It is almost like becoming a child again and seeing something new for the first time. If it does not, well then there is an analysis stage – to see if I can change something to make it work next time. And if it works? Well, it is a great feeling when it works and it is something I can incorporate into my practice.

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Image courtesy of Weronika Dylag

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