Beautiful Bizarre Magazine has had a long relationship with Italian artist Ania Tomicka. She has participated in our curated exhibitions: ‘FEMME TO FEMME FATALE’ @ MODERN EDEN GALLERY and ‘LES PETIT FOURS’ @ FRIENDS OF LEON GALLERY, was featured in Issue 011 of Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, and has shared her thoughts and details of her practice with us through other great interviews over the years: THE ARTISTIC PRACTICE OF ANIA TOMICKA, AN INTERVIEW WITH ANIA TOMICKA.
It has been a pleasure and a privilege to watch Ania grow and evolve as an artist, and to see her push boundaries with her work. You will note that Ania’s work has taken a new direction in the recent past. Read on below as Ania and I chat about the new aesthetic she has embraced, staying true to herself, and her exceptional new body of work ‘Seed of Memory’, which is currently on view at Arch Enemy Arts in Philadelphia throughout December.
“Seed of Memory is my representation of one of those really rare and precious moments in life that you know you will remember forever. It is just a second but it’s full of melancholy and beauty, even if sometimes it is not in a positive context.” Ania Tomicka
December 1 – December 30, 2017
109 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA
For information regarding artwork availability,
please contact the gallery directly at email@example.com
“Arch Enemy Arts announces Seed of Memory, our first solo exhibition for Ania Tomicka. Equally inspired by the Renaissance master’s study and appreciation of the human form, and heavily informed by American pop surrealism, in her new collection the Italian artist has pushed her work to new levels with new layers of detail and masterful use of light and often minimal backgrounds – a change from busier backdrops and swirling ethereal beings of past works, to allow her characters to exist front and center, frozen in moments of melancholy and beauty.” Patrick Shillenn, Arch Enemy Arts
Your work has evolved from a graphic illustrative style to a much more traditional realism. I have personally loved seeing your work grow, change and develop over the last few years. Could you please tell us why you feel your work has changed?
I think that my work has evolved with my life. A lot of things changed in the past few years and with it my taste in art. I am now inspired by more mature and dark artworks. I look a lot more at the old masters instead of the illustrators and pop surrealists.
This is a big risk, because people are used to my more illustrative artworks, but I want and need to stay true to myself. And who knows what future will bring to my paintings… sometimes I feel like they are deciding for themselves.
I noted the distinct absence of the sinister black ghostly beings that constantly harassed the figures in your older work. Your new work feels lighter and more positive of late. Does the absence of those dark beings reflect any personal changes in your life?
I am trying to be more positive but I feel like the black creatures are still there, hiding from the viewer. One particular change in my life made me very happy – I finally have a studio! So I don’t need to paint and sleep in the same room anymore, this is a huge positive change for me.
In this new body of work I see paintings, drawings and watercolour. It is a beautiful juxtaposition of medium that shows the breadth of your skill. What do you love most about each medium and why?
I really love watercolor for its lightness and versatility. I like to add it to my graphite drawings to make the work more interesting. But my favorite medium is always oil… there is so much to learn, there are so many different approaches to make a painting with it that I could never get tired of it.
I love the title of your exhibition, and your statement: “Seed of Memory is my representation of one of that really rare and precious moments in life when you know you will remember forever. It is just a second but it’s full of melancholy and beauty, even if sometimes it is not in a positive context.” Is Seed of Memory inspired by a personal moment/memory you would like to share? Why did you choose to focus on memory for this body of work?
I choose to focus on memory, because I really wanted to explore on a more positive theme rather than my work representing pain and internal turmoil as much of my previous work does.
I don’t know if the artworks that will follow will have the same feeling, I doubt it. This is why I feel very attached to this body of work, even though it is not inspired by a particular memory. I just wanted to represent the feeling of it.
One of your new works ‘Astray’ has the figures face hidden in darkness, can you tell us more about this work and what inspired you to mask her identity, to make her faceless? Does she reflect all women in some way, a shared experience perhaps? Or something else entirely?
At the beginning this painting did have a face – mine. I used myself as the model for this body of work. I changed many of my facial features, however the works still look quite a bit like me. This one in particular was looking at me, which made me feel really uncomfortable after a while.
There was also something else that didn’t feel right about it, so when I covered the face and changed the hair I finally saw the painting it was meant to be. I don’t know if this make sense, but I felt really happy about it.
Your work is certainly reminiscent of the Renaissance masters, what do you admire about this art movement? How has it influenced your own work?
Right now I am very inspired by Renaissance, Baroque and academic masters mostly for their incomparable and unattainable technique. My goal is to copy as much great masters as I can in order to understand some of their painting methods.
There appears to be a small white flash, glitch or blip in a number of your paintings in this series. Can you tell us what this signifies?
It is the seed of memory. I wanted to represent it, to show that this memory could come from different places. Sometimes from inside and sometimes from outside.
Other than art, what inspires your work?
It is mostly my emotions and what I experience in life. Painting helps to understand myself better.
Many of our readers are young or emerging artists who value the insight and advice of artists like yourself who are exhibiting globally . If you could give 3 pieces of invaluable advice to these artists, what would they be?
- Everyone has their own voice, don’t compare yourself to others.
- Knowledge is the key to being able to express yourself in the best way. The more you learn the more you are able to transform your thoughts into images. So study great masters, study anatomy, drawing, colors, etc. as much as you can.
- Style research is also very important, so always keep a small sketchbook with you to draw and write down ideas. Also don’t use a single artist as a reference and inspiration, it is better to have many, otherwise you risk becoming a copy of them and their work.
Let’s do some fun questions finally:
If you could be any animal, which would you choose and why? I am a simple person so just a big fluffy cat. Food, sleep and a human that do what I want? Yes, please :D
Favourite TV series? Game of Thrones, Sense8 and Black Mirror
Favourite book? Lord of the rings and 1984
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go/why? Right now I am dreaming about Nepal and the Himalayas. I love nature and mountains so it would be amazing to do a trek over there.
If you could go back in time, where would you go/why? This is a simple one. I would travel back to see great masters and learn from them!!!