Name: Paulina Mager
College: Academy of Fine Arts, Wroclaw, Poland, Graphic Department
How would you define yourself as an artist?
I can’t define myself as an artist , I just love to paint and hardly imagine doing anything else..
Why art? How did you get involved with art?
Like most children I loved to draw. At some point it also provided the sense of control over things during a certain period of life, a sense of having my own thing..But it was a long and bumpy way to realize I am able to do it professionally.
What art do you most identify with?
I appreciate the traditional, classic art represented by old masters, but also an ironic, intelligent art that creates a dialog both with the art world and the contemporary society
What does “being creative” mean to you?
I guess it is a way of letting things come to your head (or go through) without judgement, censorship or evaluation. And maybe even more important: without high expectations. more or less like a free association or dreams, where the conscience is suppressed. But it has to be followed with hard work, consequence and perseverance.
What’s the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative?
As I said above: free your mind, don’t force yourself but keep training your imagination, knowing that sometimes ideas come ‘Deus ex machina’, but you have to be ready and keep vigil to notice and embrace them.
What are you trying to communicate with your art?
I’m trying to express and to evoke emotions and associations . I believe the message appears in the space between the artwork and the recipient, and may bring different meanings to different people. Just like a relationship. And it is very interesting to observe what other people see in the work.
What do you see as the strengths of your pieces, visually or conceptually?
I ‘d like to think it’s technically good, evocative, and I really enjoy doing it. and last but not least there is always room for improvement.
What themes do you pursue?
The themes appear during the process , they come spontaneously, then shape the final work. But it mainly is about human behavior, emotions, relations and roles.
What inspires you to work?
Book: Slowness by Milan Kundera
Movie: Adam’s Apples by Anders Thomas Jensen
Food: I don’t really have one
Quote: “ There are people who have found peace and who lead beautiful and eternal lives, but their voices are quiet.” Derevo -Manifest
Can we talk a bit about your process at the beginning of a project? How do you conceive of it? How do you build it in your mind before you start?
There is no such thing as beginning .No Big Bang. We are all constantly influenced by things surrounding us, and sometimes even subconsciously borrow the ideas we feel familiar with. I don’t like to have a programme and It’s very difficult to do things you don’t like (and the liking changes). I also do not like to have expectations towards the project, that’s why also I’m not good at making commissions , because there is an expectation built in it that is intimidating and hampering the process. But at the same time there must be a structure if you want to do something, otherwise it’s just the stream of ideas that would never be verified. So there must be a compromise between the freedom and constraint. It is also during the process that more ideas and meanings come to your head but you have to make the first step, first choice and be consequent.
What Role does the artist have in society?
I don’t know if there is one..a famous quote by Oscar Wilde says: ‘All art is quite useless’ . But at the same time ,following my favorite writer Milan Kundera : if the world as it is, is a result of people making themselves useful, I prefer not to be one.
Do you suffer for your art?
It surely consumes a lot of time, it can happen to be frustrating, it can isolate you from life, It can sometimes even replace life, and ther is a danger in it, but surely it also brings satisfaction and can be very rewarding, not only because it makes you shape your own, unique world, but also can lead to indirect communication with other people.
What do you think about the art community and market?
I don’t have much to do with it but I believe internet helps communicating and presenting art worldwide.
Should art be funded? Why?
To some degree ,yes. I live in a country where only few people make a living out of art. And to make things valuable and original you can’t be entirely dependant on the market .Opportunism kills creativity, just like greed. But not having means to live you can’t afford doing what you want..
What famous artists have influenced you, and how?
My professor Eugeniusz Get Stankiewicz, whom I’m most grateful for his openness, thinking outside of the box and erudition. Francis Bacon, Roger Ballen, Joel-Peter Witkin for making ugly poignant, evocative, truthful and humane, Martin Parr for his sense of observation and humour.
What other interests do you have outside of art?
Long distance running, ethology, biology, hiking, literature
You seem to be very aware of the history of works. Where do you see films, photo exhibitions, art perfomances today?
The main source of information now is internet, unfortunately I don’t have enough time to travel and see things with my own eyes.
How would your life change if you were no longer allowed to create art?
It’s hard to say , but I thing I’d get closer to the nature, probably work with animals.
some short questions now…
Colours: gray , black , brown
Textures: cracked paint
Describe your style: “Define yourself”… realistic surrealism
Define your art: I haven’t made it up yet…
Who are the artist’s you admire the most?
If I may mention an artist not directly defined as visual : it surely would be Pina Bausch – for her strength and fragility at the same time, sensitivity , commitment and belief in the importance of what she did, even to the point of despair (‘Dance, dance, otherwise we are lost’) , immence impact of her art on emotions ,unlimited imagination, creativity, wisdom and the unique ability to name the most subtle emotions with movement.
What are your next projects?
I keep working on several ideas combining the works of old masters with new contexts.
Define Klassik Magazine for the audience? Stunning!