Interview with Magda Wegrzyn

Young Polish artist Magda Wegrzyn is the winner of the open call by Zucker Art Collection (Fall 2015). In the following interview Magda speaks about the winning piece of art that was acquired by the the Zucker Collection and the artist gives further insights into her artistic practice that is rooted in the sphere of digital images.

You won the open call for the Zucker Art Collection, can you elaborate on the artwork that was acquired by the collection and the series it is part of?

The painting which was acquired is part of my recent series. In this particular series I am using different values and juxtapose them with each other. Usually the shapes and colours comes from digital inspirations. I use Photoshop for creating images and then repaint them as paintings. This is important as it gives a hand made value to the work. In this series I used to be interested in in such concepts as errors or noise and their relation to ways of creating information. I usually work eclectically. I cut and paste different values and then combine them with each other allowing for their existence. I do not have an intention in creating meaning in a sense that is very often recall in a question: what do you want to say? Rather, I prefer to bring confusion and wait what will happen next. The works from the series are inspired by chaos of the Internet. This chaos is constantly present, but it is more hobble and because of that it is less scary. In my own way I deal with an amount of information. I used to combine different aesthetics, also using a language of geometry. I may have unconsciously turned into geometry because I wanted to believe in its universality as a language. Avant - garde artists had turned into it believing that geometry could be a language of spirituality in times of crisis of mimetic art, invention of photography and social changes. Maybe I shall do the same in post digital era.

What gets you excited about a topic?

I am interested in possibilities of aesthetics values and its relation to perception and imagination. I have been interested in collage and mash up as a method which allows for creation eclectic images that allows for broad interpretation. In my previous works I contrast more values making an eye insecure when looking at the image. In most recent paintings I leave more space for breathing. Where some parts are intense, while another are left empty. I do believe that a form, because of it contexts, can say something about things and therefore reveal ideas.

Do you have any inspiring role models?

I do have some artist which I admire. My appreciation for them is connected with their attitudes towards reality or specific concepts which stands behind their works. Although, I take different paths myself. I admire Erwin Wurm for his sense of humour, Agnieszka Kurant for her intelligent conceptual approach. I am totally amazed by some projects made by architect Aleksandra Wasilkowska. From aesthetic point of view I am a huge fan of Polish design studio Noviki, some works of Tauba Auerbach. I like work of young Finnish painters; In Finland I used to attend on lectures of Hito Steyerl. I like her competence in bringing contexts together, seemingly far from each other, which in the end create believable visual essay about reality. Sometimes my role models can be as far from each other as Henryk Stażewski, Władysław Strzemiński or Ricky Gervais.

What made you want to become an artist?

Art is necessary in society as it gives a voice in a discourse about certain issues. Art can be a powerful tool in talking about painful or unrelieved issues or a tool for healing minds and bodies. Art allows gaining knowledge and gives access to it also. On the other hand, this knowledge very often comes from subjective perspective and personal attitude. As an artist I am using painting as my primarily medium because I enjoy experiencing moments when I can play and create things, not because I have to, but because they make me creative. I think that art allows accessing knowledge and discovering things that can be accessed or discovered only by usage of artistic methods. Creating can be a pleasure which we sometimes use to forgot. Everything around is more difficult.

What is your favourite media?


What are you passionate about beside your artistic work?

Poetry of Wisława Szymborska. I would love to create works in relation to her poems one day.

How do online platform influence the way you expose your work?

Via the platform I show works in series which is somehow similar to what I do in my website for example. However, the platform gives me better exposure and visibility because of its social nature.

What are your current fascinations?

Currently, I am developing subjects on which I have been working previously. I am trying to learn from psychology of perception to have better understanding of how the mechanism of perception works. I am interested in pattern recognition as well as concept of a perceptual set. The last one is connected with the ways how attitude is able to change depend on what we can see. Some experiments from psychology of perception related to this subjects had been made in 1961 by Bugelski&Alampay. I will try to use this knowledge in my next paintings.

What is next on your artist career calendar?

I am planning to take part in residency organized by Blue Mountain Cultural Center in Australia in February 2016 and I will be having a solo exhibition at the Blue Mountain Cultural Center Art Gallery. I will use the funds from the Zucker Collection to support my project there. The project which I am going to develop, is connected with early explorers crossing the Blue Mountains. I am interested in the figure of the explorer and travel seen as a creative process. I based my project on a history of three explores who in 1813 crossed the Blue Mountains. Despite the expedition was into the unknown and about crossing the unexplored Blue Mountains the travelers showed the courage and were undeterred, However their exploration unfortunately proved to be harm to other parties. I am intrigued by this duality.