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Agata di Masternak

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Name: 
Agata di Masternak

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Statement : 

I explore my subject to the very boundaries between life and death. My art reflects the transcendent act of crossing the border of souls living in the body.

Histology of the soul Nb6,Version 2, 127x107cm, mixed media on canvas, 2020
The Histology of the soul series is a continuation of the Big Heads series. Big Heads was created over the last 16 years picturing my journey and transformation through illness to recovery. The Histology series naturally derived from it focusing this time not on the reality but on the world within. Picturing my surrounding and the reality was not challenging enough. Lockdown pushed the reset button, set the new order in the world and forced us to stay in the moment, turned within and reavaluated our priorities. There are always opportunities in set backs and still moments. There is always a lesson to be learnt from hardships. For many years I was exorcising my demons by picturing them in my paintings in a figurative way. In this new series I have started to explore a different view and have immersed myself in an abstract world within. PART 1 Transition towards the Light For the last 21 years of treatment I have viewed and analysed countless CT, PET, MRI and angiography scans alongside external photos taken during and after my thirty five surgeries. I have come to realise that the familiar looking internal images have expressed more about my identity than the constantly changing reflection of my face in the mirror after surgeries. Transitoriness and ephemerality best describe the character of this series. I use light sensitive materials that are time dependent. Time plays a crucial role in the ageing process of paintings which have only a 12 month shelf life. After that period paintings will only will be available to view as off white, pastel version. This symbolises the change in us and reminds us that only with the light we can shine our true colours and become whole. The word ‘histology’ means microscopic anatomy. I studied anatomy for years trying to understand why my body suffered and how to reverse the process. I started exploring the world within my body- tissues, diseased cells and analysing images taken under a microscope. In a similar manner, I have with my brushstrokes dissected and restored cells on canvas to their natural and harmonious order. By painting them, filling them with light, bringing them to a balanced state all my cells turned inwards, to their original state of balance and health. I believe this is a representation of the universal inner turmoil we all feel and experience from time to time in our lives. The inner destruction which we cannot see and sometimes only feel which we all wish we could repair and restore. In order to picture this fascinating process of change I used different pigments that respond and transform as our bodies do. I have used a variety of UV interactive pigments and thermochromic paints which allow the painting to change and be viewed in many different ways. This gives the observer a perfect opportunity to view stages of change and immerse and experience these paintings and their colours as mystery, space and harmony. Shapes are organic, rounded, primary, embryonic, recalling primary universal qualities that we are all born with. These are paintings about human emotions, navigating their way to healing and finding their own way to a balanced living.
Histology of the Soul, Nb 7, Version 2, 153x107cm, mixed media on canvas, 2020
The Histology of the soul series is a continuation of the Big Heads series. Big Heads was created over the last 16 years picturing my journey and transformation through illness to recovery. The Histology series naturally derived from it focusing this time not on the reality but on the world within. Picturing my surrounding and the reality was not challenging enough. Lockdown pushed the reset button, set the new order in the world and forced us to stay in the moment, turned within and reavaluated our priorities. There are always opportunities in set backs and still moments. There is always a lesson to be learnt from hardships. For many years I was exorcising my demons by picturing them in my paintings in a figurative way. In this new series I have started to explore a different view and have immersed myself in an abstract world within. PART 1 Transition towards the Light For the last 21 years of treatment I have viewed and analysed countless CT, PET, MRI and angiography scans alongside external photos taken during and after my thirty five surgeries. I have come to realise that the familiar looking internal images have expressed more about my identity than the constantly changing reflection of my face in the mirror after surgeries. Transitoriness and ephemerality best describe the character of this series. I use light sensitive materials that are time dependent. Time plays a crucial role in the ageing process of paintings which have only a 12 month shelf life. After that period paintings will only will be available to view as off white, pastel version. This symbolises the change in us and reminds us that only with the light we can shine our true colours and become whole. The word ‘histology’ means microscopic anatomy. I studied anatomy for years trying to understand why my body suffered and how to reverse the process. I started exploring the world within my body- tissues, diseased cells and analysing images taken under a microscope. In a similar manner, I have with my brushstrokes dissected and restored cells on canvas to their natural and harmonious order. By painting them, filling them with light, bringing them to a balanced state all my cells turned inwards, to their original state of balance and health. I believe this is a representation of the universal inner turmoil we all feel and experience from time to time in our lives. The inner destruction which we cannot see and sometimes only feel which we all wish we could repair and restore. In order to picture this fascinating process of change I used different pigments that respond and transform as our bodies do. I have used a variety of UV interactive pigments and thermochromic paints which allow the painting to change and be viewed in many different ways. This gives the observer a perfect opportunity to view stages of change and immerse and experience these paintings and their colours as mystery, space and harmony. Shapes are organic, rounded, primary, embryonic, recalling primary universal qualities that we are all born with. These are paintings about human emotions, navigating their way to healing and finding their own way to a balanced living.
Bio: 

2013 BA in Fashion design and Arts, Central Saint Martins College in London

2010 MA major in Painting; minor in Sculpture and Textiles, Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw

Agata was born and grew up in the south of Poland in the mountains. She lives nad works in London.

She decided to pursue painting after her diagnosis at the age of 16 years old.

Agata started painting at the hospital. It was a cathartic experience that brought relief and gave her tools to redefine herself. Painting became her medicine, tool of transformation and her escape from a crashing diagnosis.

This is how Big Heads series was created which took Agata 10 years to complete.

She had numerous shows in the UK, Germany, Poland, France, Italy and the USA. Agata’s work was selected for the Threadneedle Prize exhibition; ING Discerning Eye exhibition in Mall Galleries in London; the Sunday Times Watercolour exhibition; Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize Exhibition; Artist Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of British Artists.

Artist also received Sally Woodward Award and Colin Barnes Prize; was a finalist of the Holly Bush Emerging Woman Painter’s Prize.

Her work is currently exhibited at Zabludowicz Collection at the Women’s Lockdown Art Exhibition.

United States
New York City
United Arab Emirates
Dubai
Bahrain
Bahrain
Germany
Berlin
United States
New York City

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