NATALIA RAKS' STUNNING LARGE SCALE MURALS EXPLORE LOVE AND IT'S IMPORTANCE USING SCI-FI INSPIRED VISUALS DISCOVER MORE ABOUT HER WORKS AND HER TRANSITION TO PAINTING ON THE WALLS

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You did your degree in Spatial and Poster Design but now are known more for your paintings and street art, talk to us about the transition into fine arts?

We live in that time in Poland that we don't have exactly the art market for young artists. You need to have luck or have some connections to sell your art works which will not be art commissions. I always have that feeling that art is not easy direction when you want to earn money. I thought about Commercial Art and That's why I chose Spatial and Poster Design. I love traditions of polish design Posters and  I even wrote a master thesis about the most outstanding representatives of the Movement -Polish Poster School- Jan Lenica, Franciszek Starowieyski, Jan Młodożeniec, Wiesław Wałkuski, Waldemar Świerzy, etc.I appreciated the ideas and ways of presentation themes in their posters. They have some impact on my works too. During study time I got to know the basics of screen printing technique which showed me to work on the poster from a technical point of view. I was interested as well in comics and ilustrations which I also studied. My diploma for Spatial and Poster Design was mixed of that all techincs and directions. I think was very unique. During my study time I met with professor opinion that my canvases shouldn't be at all illustrative, because that's not a real face of art. You have to know that my academy have name of great Polish artist -Władysław Strzemiński who formulated Unism theories and was famous for his solaristic paintings "Powidoki". But even I knew his theories, I didn't feel it in my soul. I think that it is multidirectional in art is the most beautiful and you have to follow your intuition. I always use figurative art beacuse that what I feel. Study on academy gives me time to get the knowledge of different art directions and wider perspective. In spite of different opinions, I have learned to trust my own intuition.


"Knockin' on Heaven's Door” - Napa Valley in California, Collaboration wall with Bezt/ EtamCru, For RadNapa project curated by Gallery ThinkSpace

 

What are the main themes behind your practice, what the questions your exploring through your creations?

I could be as well very talkative person during my travels time and introverted in my private life. The relations with people were always very important for me as the relations with nature. I think love is the most important thing in our life and give the meaning of existence. We should respect each other, appreciate that we are different and don't  be so easy in judging. We should respect nature as we are part of all world and take care about our Earth.  All of my works have my thoughts inside. Murals are for masses of people, canvases are chosen by single man, that's why the ideas for murals are  more universal, canvases have for unique theme. I have inside this Peter Pan from fairy tale story and science fiction world always attracted me too. I do not avoid showing a fantasy scene where I speak with language of symbol and metaphor. I very othen I reach to my bookcase looking for some help. During the creations part I'm thinking about composition, colour contrasts, gesture, body positioning, how to crop the scene. Sometimes I consciously undertake the same theme as I saw on Art Museum and I try to show it in a new light.


"The Whisper of the Witch" oil on linen

 

The works you produce are incredibly colourful and often on a large scale, Talk us through your process when creating a work? How do you decide on locations?

You do not always have the privilege of Selecting the location. You choose your wall based on photos, so there are sometimes some surprises when you are on place and you want to start painting. I choose walls without windows, less texture, where I can paint using even small brush.  I prepare my sketch, list of acrylics and spraycans before I arriave. My favourite brand is Montana Gold and Black beacuse of the pallet chart, which I love. On background I use acrylics, mostly takes me 3-4days and then I put more details with spray cans.  I like when Mural have simply , humorous idea, It has some influence from surroundings. I'm open to learn about history aspects of place where I'm painting but sometimes I have concept for wall  after  I only observed the shape of it. I think the first idea is usually the best one.


"Ophelia"  NoLimit Festival in Boras, Sweden

 

Creating works for a gallery space must be a different process, how do you adapt to working for a white walled gallery space?

I'm not thinking at all about gallery wall because the only one purpose for my work is hanging in the privacy somebody's home. I want to add a completely new value for interior and spice up someone Daily life. I'm thinking with Which feeling I want to share with totally strange person. I'm trying to not think, what the  theme it's easly to sell, but what the challenge I can put on myself at the next work  to have more joy during work on it.


"I missed You…."

 

You were featured in the 2015 Urban Contemporary Art guide, what did if feel like included in the guide and what were you doing when you found out you were being included?

I know that publications are very important for you career. For every artist the most important is that they don't mess with your name and that the photos are in good quality. I'm happy that my works are recognizable. Tha's all.


"The Phantom Warrior" acrylics on linen

 

You’ve exhibited extensively across the world since 2009, but what have you got lined up for 2017?

I started this year from collaboration wall with my fiancein Napa Valley and very exciting travel to Thailand. If that will look all year, I can't wait. I have in my plan solo show in France and some walls, but let me keep it in secret. 


"Love is in the air" in Dunedin/ NZ

 

FOR UPDATES FROM NATALIA www.facebook.com/ArtNataliaRak/ 

INTERVIEW by HANNAH SMITH

 

 

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