I generally try to represent the relationship between shapes, objects, colours, light and texture.
9 Questions to Tomasz Cichowski.
Polish artist, living and working in Tarnowskie Góry, Poland and Glasgow, UK.
What is your art about?
I have never followed any agenda or creed, and I don’t like predictability and obviousness. When it comes to visual art, I find myself more inspired by individual artworks and the world around me, rather than specific artists or artistic movements. In my art, I generally try to represent the relationship between shapes, objects, colours, light and texture. I often use certain aspects (and limitations) of the medium and its corresponding techniques to enhance the character of the artwork. I want my art to stimulate, surprise and pose questions. I’d like it to be instinctive and self-explanatory, creating an experience not unlike listening to music.
Please tell us more about your working process, routine, your studio set up and the way you approach new artworks.
My creative process is dependent on the medium I’m working with. In painting and drawing, there is little more to it than simply applying the paint or ink. I might have a preconceived mental image of what I want the artwork to look like, but I don’t devote much time to planning and make most decisions on the spot. It usually works out the best when I let loose and see where the artwork takes me. This kind of process often makes it difficult to actually finish an artwork, and the moment I decide to do so is impossible to predict.
As to photography, the creative process is quite different. Whether I shoot outdoors or in the studio, I usually have a specific plan of what I want to accomplish. What moves my work forward, however, is the confrontation of my expectations with the execution, and ultimately it is the end result which plays the most important role.
What is fertiliser for your work?
It’s a difficult question, as inspiration is not something I actively look for – it usually finds me instead. I accumulate small details of everyday life over time, and they subconsciously find their way into my art. A finished artwork is ultimately a sum of memories, experiences and desires.
Who or what has recently impressed you?
I’ve recently discovered Photoworks, which is a British agency working with talented young photographers. At first, some of these young people’s works may seem simplistic and unoriginal in their representativeness, but I’ve found myself quite impressed by their emotional power and artistic maturity.
Have a beer with an artist of your choice? Whom?
A lot of the artists I admire and respect for their craft were born in the 1920s or ‘30s, which means that, unfortunately, many of them are now dead. However, I’d love to talk over a glass of wine with Carmen Herrera. She’s an amazing artist who only managed to sell her first artwork at the age of 89, and will be 103 years old in May 2018! I only found out about her 2 years ago and I’m absolutely fascinated both by her paintings and her artistic journey.
What’s your favourite city and why?
Every city I have visited has its own unique character and energy. Sarajevo definitely stands out with its huge diversity and distinct un-European atmosphere. I also frequently look back on Arles, perhaps because of its strong ties to photography.
What’s your favourite restaurant and why?
I admit that I’m not a big restaurant-goer. When eating out, I enjoy the atmosphere and conversation equally or even more than the food. Therefore, my favourite restaurant is wherever I can have a great time talking to my friends and family.
What would you do with five euro found in the streets?
Buy a bottle of wine for my wife.
Do you have any dream projects in mind that you would like to do in the future?
I’m not planning anything of the sort. For me, the chase is better than the catch. Everyone has some kind of goal in mind, but it’s impossible to succeed if the road to it is not enjoyable and motivating. Also, the goal doesn’t have to be a huge and spectacular one, and it’s perfectly fine to take one small step at a time.
The world of contemporary art is difficult and increasingly materialistic, but I am and always will be an artist. Therefore, my own set of small steps is to simply persevere in my artistic journey, despite living in a world where I don’t belong – maybe that’s my “dream project”.
oil on linen | 146 x 146 cm | 2017
oil on linen | 111 x 111 cm | 2017
il on linen | 48 x 192 cm | 2017
oil on linen | 111 x 192 cm | 2017
Portrait, in the studio
All images © Photo credits: courtesy of the artist
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