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Interview with Beata Chrzanowska

April 10, 2011

Guildess  interviewed Milwaukee based artist  Beata Chrzanowska after viewing her February show at Foxglove Gallery.  Chrzanowska is a painter/ drawer who works with the human form in her art work. Her work can be viewed at http://chrzanowska.blogspot.com/.

1. Describe your newest body of work.

A series of ink/mixed media pieces that represent the human figure as an iconic warrior. The type of fighter that is best comparable is the great Medusa. An armor-less fighter whose shear presence and supernatural tendencies won the battles. This series explores the capacities and imaginative potentials of the human form. Through the use of line, pattern and the unfamiliar being the work goes beyond human limits physically and artistically, making them warriors of the imagination.

2. How does the female figure play a role in your art?

There is nothing that inspires me more than the human form. I like using both genders in my work, but I feel like through history a powerful male is almost overrated. Potentially my most successful works are of the female, where I incorporate, beauty, strength, intensity, and surrealism. An alien like form that draws the viewer in because of the natural human tendency to be curious about the unknown.

3. What is your motivation or inspiration to create?

Making art can be best described as a very, very long video game. There are levels, bonuses, surprises, downfalls, rewards, adrenalin rushes, power-ups, more intense/less intense parts to it. No matter how long you play and whether it’s turning out good or bad there is always a goal to reach, or a checkpoint. I like to be busy doing things that fulfill me as a person and make me feel like I have done something important with my life. Art brings me pride and confidence and has led to networking with people I greatly admire.

4. Explain your artistic process.

Intensity. I like working on art that constantly changes during the creative process. I like my work to entertain me until it’s finished. I usually use photography as a reference because it is the closest thing to using a figure model. I will find a body angle, or face shape, or color juxtaposition and i will want to see it filtered through my vision. Then I see how I can break down an image even more, through tone, color, shape, and line, abstracting it in the process.

5. Why do you choose to be a Milwaukee based artist?

I like living in Milwaukee. I have a lot of friends here who are artists and are willing to collaborate with me. Not only that but there are gallery owners, successful freelance artists whom I know, MIAD connections, and resources here. There are a lot of “new artist” friendly gallery spaces that have made it easier for me in getting my work out there. Plus Milwaukee isn’t a crazy distracting place either to which I feel gives me more time to think about my work.

6 Who is your favorite female artist? Why?

I must say Kathe Kollwitz. What strikes me is the emotional turmoil and intensity her work evokes. I feel like I know exactly what her characters were feeling, the pain, the sorrow, the sadness. And the great thing is that in some of her work she uses distortions and minimalism to surface there powerful feelings.

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