The original language of this article is English. If you read it in another language, it means it is an automatic translation.
Anna Rendecka won Art Vue Prize Spring 2022 edition with “Don’t look back!” series published in the Art Vue Prize catalog.
Be yourself! Express yourself!
Q: Did you think that you would win the first prize with “Don’t look back“ ? How did you feel after finding out you won?
A: Winning the first prize was a huge surprise for me. I was very happy and excited. For the first few minutes I didn’t believe it. Then reality was like a dream come true. In recent years, I have tried to show my art and participated in many competitions. There was always a small belief that I would be chosen. Without it, the application would not make sense. Although I always thought they were better people than me, especially at international competitions. Besides the fact that this is art, the one we are talking about, it is not mathematics, it is the sensitivity that makes it difficult to judge. One of my teachers once told me not to give up and to apply to as many competitions as possible. Even if I lost, that didn’t mean my work wasn’t good. But always I must to try! So I try. Sometimes it’s a victory, sometimes it’s a loss. Whatever happens, I become stronger and more confident.
Q: What do you want to say with “Don’t look back”?
A: The “Don’t Look Back” series consists of female nude drawings. Freely treated shapes, expressive actions with lines and spots, as well as contrasting and saturated colors serve to present the body without embarrassment, encourage you to find beauty in it. The purpose of these works of art is to break the taboo and social norms regarding one’s own image, to overcome these norms and prejudices related to nudity, as well as to free oneself from the bonds of social hypocrisy in the subject of corporality. These drawings are part of three larger series of works. They were created when the Covid-19 pandemic started, which unexpectedly motivated me to discover new ways of expressing emotions through art. – The first triptych: “I remember. I’m waiting. I miss you. “It showed closure, imprisonment in the past, clinging to the past.” –
The second series called “Pandemic” was about crossing the border between past, future and present by awareness of fears, healing the pain, looking for a way out; – The third series: “Do not look back!” opens to a new life that awaits us, stepping into the unknown, unexpected, accepting ourselves and the body as a driving force to move forward, unity in soul and body emanating peace.
Q: Which is that emotion that triggers your creativity?
A: Many different emotions trigger my creativity. These could be joy, happiness or sadness and anger. But sometimes it is just a quiet, lonely evening, when my mind is most creative. My art is all about emotions. Sometimes I focus on expressing my inner feelings. They can be either related to the specific moment, but also tell a story about a particular part of my life. On the other hand, I am trying to show other people’s emotions, how big an impact they have on their bodies and minds. Those feelings can be seen through our behavior, poses, and faces, which I aim to show in my paintings. Going further I am highlighting problems which arise due to emotions. The third point is awaking emotions in the viewer. It’s amazing, when someone tells me that my work evokes emotions, inspires discussion, opens new meanings and perspectives. Or simply just makes them happy. It is always a joy, when someone wants to hang my painting at home and by looking at it enjoy that moment. I believe that if the art is created from real emotions and grows on the artist’s life experience, it has the power to move people and become universal.
There are three ecoline works, which were created during happy holidays at the Masurian Lake District. They are a sample of happiness being a trigger. “Lake Stories“ is a drawing project, which consists of several mixed media works, is an abstract expression of emotions and feelings arisen during a stay in the Masurian Lake District in Poland. Bright and saturated colours, strong contrast along with oval, curved shapes and lines were inspired by the lakes and nature around them. They emanate with positive energy and enrich life with joy and optimism.
Q: Do you think that artists create from their own suffering?
A: Yes. I am a good example of this. I have been suffering from migraines for years. I have always treated her as something bad, which destroys my availability for any activity in life. Migraine is a terrible disease, and when the pain comes, it breaks you, it can be like your worst nightmare. Two years ago I decided to change my attitude and use migraine as inspiration for my graphic work. It was a turning point. The suffering did not stop, but I created amazing drawings and graphics, which somehow tamed the migraine and changed it into something quite inspired.
I created few ecoline works called “Migraine”. They were kind of artistic “fight” with those bad headaches. Those drawings were an attempt to show the feelings, the pain and everything that happened in my brain during a migraine attack – flickering, colors, migraine scotomas, sharp objects flowing around my head causing sharp pain.
Q: What do you think about the human body?
A: The Human Body is the biggest inspiration for my creative work. It motivates me in the artistic search for forms of expression. It also tells a story about a person, their life, experiences along with emotions arising inside. It’s true that the human body can hide many things, but also defines and expresses who we are.
Q: Which living or dead artist would like to have dinner with and why?
A: Definitely Henri Matisse. I love his colourful works and I agree with most of his quotes, which are very inspiring. For example this one: “You must forget all your theories, all your ideas before the subject. What part of these is really your own will be expressed in your expression of the emotion aroused in you by the subject.”
Another one, which I use during my creating process: “Don’t wait for inspiration. It comes while you work.” I think we would have a very interesting conversation. Besides, he lived in Provence, in France. I was there once on vacation and that place amazed me with the sunshine and bright, warm colours everywhere. There I felt a positive energy, which can be found in Matisse’s art. He combined graphics with paintings and drawings. Maybe, in an unconscious way, that’s what I’m looking for in my paintings, somehow inspired by his work.
Q: Which living or dead artist would you like to be your teacher?
A: August Rodin, Edward Munch and Henri Matisse of course!
Q: Which artist has influenced you the most in your art?
A: My biggest inspiration is the European art of the end of 19th century and beginning of 20th. There are many artists whose works I appreciate and who have influenced me the most. Among them would be Henri Matisse, Paul Klee or Francis Bacon. But also I have to mention about the traditional Japanese art and artists like Hokusai, and Irish Celtic art. These have been the biggest inspiration for my graphic works recently.
Q: Looking back in art’s history, do you believe that it is hard to be an artist or not and why?
A: It depends how „being an artist“ is defined and what an artist wants to achieve. For centuries being an artist had many various meanings, destinies, purposes. I am afraid it is a separate subject for a long discussion. If you ask about me, creating is my passion, a way of fulfilling life with happiness, feeling of satisfaction. It gives my life a meaning and purpose. It is a way of expressing myself and making connections with people around me. More often I also realize that drawing or painting calms me down, helps to deal with stress and quiets emotions. It becomes kind of a chat with myself, building bridges between my inner sides. As you can imagine it is not easy, because following your passion and dreams is hard. And dealing with inner self can be even more difficult. But the satisfaction and happiness pay it off.
Q: Which is the hardest part as an artist?
A: From the creation point of view – for me it would be the moment, when you look at the blank, empty space (on paper or any other background), that you want to fill with your art. It’s always hard for me to start. Making first “marks” stresses me out. After that, the next hard moment is when you need to decide if and when the work it’s finished. Sometimes with my drawings or paintings I could keep going on and on…
What I find most difficult as an artist is to try to earn money from my own art, to apply to competitions to be known and recognized. It is time consuming and requires energy, which could be consumed for creation.
Q: What style do you think that represents you?
A: I will let that the viewers to decide. I think it would be a combination of several styles from the past. A little bit of expressionism, impressionism, abstract art.
Q: What do you think about technology and its implications (what about digital arts)?
A:It is helpful and creates new ways and solutions for the creation process. It also changes the way we think about creation, and expands the art boundaries – shows possibilities, new ideas. This is good. But I would separate digital art from any other traditional arts, give it a special space to grow and develop. If digital art is born from talent, sensitivity, for me it has the same rank as traditional art.
Q: Do you remember your very first drawing?
A: I can’t remember it, but it might have been one of my first drawings. It shows how passionate I have been about drawing since my childhood 🙂
Q: Do you have a pet?
A: No,I don’t have. But I would love to have one! I grew up with two dogs and now I plan to have one in the near future. If you want to ask if they inspired me – Yes! A lot!
Q: What color do you like?
A: Turquoise and ultramarine.
Q: I have seen in your works three kinds of compositions. Some of them are very complex, in terms of organizing the compositional elements in the plastic space. I would like to ask you if you use digital programs in the compositional scheme first and only then draw or paint in the classic way?!
A: It depends on which one. Some of them, for example the “Stories” screen-prints or some life drawings are handmade – hand-drawn in a classic way. The stories were drawn on foil and then screen-printed.
The other compositions are a Photoshop montage made from hand-drawn graphics, drawings, paintings or serigraphs. Sometimes I also use my photos. It all depends on the final effect I want to achieve. I use my intuition and “the 5th artistic sense” to organize and combine them. I like to create those montages, collages that bring new meanings and formal qualities. As a new point of view.
Those artistic activities, using different tools, combining classical art and hand work bring me a lot of joy and broaden my perspectives. It’s like pushing boundaries, crossing boundaries and trying to find your own way of expressing yourself. And most importantly, it helps to self define.
Q: You mentioned the 5th artistic sense -What do you mean?
A: A kind of artistic intuition, talent. I’m not sure how to explain it. Combined with knowledge and experience, it helps me in my creative process.
Q: What do you think about “perfection “?
A: It’s a difficult question … because I’m a perfectionist! I always think, “I can do better!”
Perfection is like beauty, there is not only one definition for it. It has changed over the decades.
In mathematics or physics, perfection is different from aesthetics. Some people see beauty in cosmic chaos and imperfection, others say that the cosmos is a perfect system with perfect order. The same thing can be perfect or imperfect. It all depends on our point of view and our sensitivity.For me, perfection is the highest level of what you can do, what makes you feel better, what you offer more, and so on.
As for the human body – everyone is perfect. Because it is an amazing creation of nature. With time, I come to the conclusion that the older I get, the more perfect I become.For me, it’s not about rules, classic proportions, etc. The perfection of the human body comes with the richness of life experiences, the wisdom and struggles of everyday life but also with amazement.
Without a doubt, Michelangelo’s “David” is beautiful and probably the most perfect piece of art in the history of art. But we are lucky to live in the 21st century, and we can see perfection in imperfections.
Q: The line in your female nude compositions reminds me of the works of Toulouse Lautrec. Do you like Henry Toulouse-Lautrec?!
A: Yes!!! Very much. He knew how to capture the moments. I like the lightness of his drawings. The way he chose the postures of women can be inspiring. They were not a traditional, academic life drawings, but rather quick sketches of women observed in their daily activities. Toulouse-Lautrec’s works show beauty of everyday life. I think he changed the way people and artists viewed life.
Q: What is that advice to give to anyone who wants to make the world more beautiful?
A: Be yourself. Express yourself. Don’t look back!
Live every moment and enjoy it, because nothing is given for granted!
Visual analysis of Anna Rendecka’s works:
Anna approaches compositions with characters, female nudes, figurative or non-figurative compositions.
With characters that seem to occupy the entire plastic space, or with compositional elements that in some cases are so many that they seem to jump out of the plastic space outside, most of Anna’s plastic compositions are closed / static compositions in which the visual message focuses on transmission of emotions.
Anna often uses mixed media techniques, such as graphic methods combined with watercolor techniques. Sometimes she combines digital methods with traditional ones, edits, prints, draws, paints, animates and not necessarily in this order. As in a magic globe, Anna sees how to compose her amazing compositions and stops only when hers 5th artistic sense “is satisfied”.
As for Anna’s favorite subject, it is clear that it is the human body and its beauty. She is looking for a beauty totally different from the Greek canon.
The female nudes in Anna’s compositions are metaphors of beauty in which she intuits the perfection of the human body. Traces of all emotions on human bodies become in this case symbols of perfection.
The force vectors on which the compositional masses are arranged (diagonal ascending / descending, horizontal, vertical, ..) together with a vibrating background of linear rhythms combine their effort for emotions to be reflected visually.
Although some of them seem to be her own studies, built with the lightness necessary for the synthetic notation of human beauty, Anna’s compositions are valuable works in themselves, regardless of the working time given to them.
In the case of female nudes, the expressiveness is underlined by the contour line with that Anna seems to want to cut and highlight the body, a line used to highlight the centers of interest in the composition. Everything to see and understand beyond appearances, to see in space and to feel the emotion of the moment.
Most often the centers of interest are indicated by color spots (blue / orange / turquoise, ..) or by non-colors.
In the case of non-figurative compositions we find complex chromatic palettes as well as rhythms of the shapes, lines and spots that give their unity.
Anna uses non-colors to suggest certain spaces, whether in the foreground of the composition or in the background.
Anna’s favorite element of plastic language is the line. She draws with the line shapes and essential details in the construction of the compositional elements. The line that modulates the surfaces helps to individualize and express the shape of the human body.
Sometimes her compositions seem torn from fantastic stories in which the unreal meets the real, in other cases they abound in compositional elements so that by their juxtaposition they go beyond the decorative game and become spaces in which a child’s fear of emptiness has created his own worlds.
I could not pass over the composition called Stories, in which over the print of some photographs the artist, takes from these essential compositional elements that she metamorphoses in the plastic space of the composition, as she sees, knows, feels. They interact in the general context of the composition, thus creating links (bridges) between the inserted individual messages and their overall image, offering a new meaning of the final visual message.
Anna’s art essentializes and reflects on the veracity of today’s world, emphasizing, recreating and revealing the emotions involved.
Exhibitions and graphic projects, Anna participated in recent years:
- April 2022 – “MEMENTO MORI” – International Contemporary Printmaking Project
- December 2021 – the 11th Polish Print Triennial in Katowice, Poland;
- September 2021 – “Art for the Climate” exhibition and auction organized by DANFOSS / Warsaw, Poland
- June 2021 – 2nd International Print Triennial in Cieszyn, Poland
- May 2021 – individual exhibition “Memory, passing, disappearing” at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, Poland;
- April – May 2021 – individual exhibition “Pandemic Drawings” at Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, Poland;
- February 2020 – exhibition “Imbalance” in the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice, Poland;
- February 2021 – 12th Biennial of Student Graphics in Poznań, Poland;
- February 2021 – exhibition: “Postcard from home” in the “Salon Akademii” Gallery at the Koneser Center in Warsaw, Poland;
- June 2019 – Kissprint 2019 / Warsaw, Poland;
- June 2018 – presentation of illustrative works on the Warsaw Book Fair, Poland;
- June 2018 – post-competition exhibition “Desire for Ochota. Yesterday and today”
(distinction in the “Ochota Architecture” category), Observation Gallery, Warsaw, Poland;
- June 2017 – post-competition exhibition of poster designs for the Warsaw Book Fair, Poland;
- September 2016 – Studio’s Students Exhibition in the Dublin Graphic Studio / Dublin, Ireland
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