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Andrzej Urbanski


Andrzej Urbanski was born in 1983 in Poznan and lives and works in Cape Town and Berlin. HL chatted to him about is work and plans for the rest of 2014. What inspires your work? I am inspired by the interaction of people around me and their movement through environments. I am also very interested in the influence of colour, architecture and media on human beings, which I feel is an important aspect for our decision making and perceptions. The internet is also a huge inspiration, as a space of virtual movement and a surreal/unreal environment. When did you decide that art was what you wanted to do? Art has always been a big part of my life. As a child I was fascinated by colours, big buildings and the drawing skills of my father. He taught me how to draw and helped me with my first paintings. These drawing lessons had a big impact on me and when I was 12, I began to experiment with acrylics and spray paint. In high school I dreamed of becoming an artist and pursued that dream 14 years later when the Ecole Cantonale d'art de Lausanne in Switzerland accepted my application to do my Masters in Fine Art. That was 4½ years ago. I then decided to become a full time fine artist and show my work to an international audience. What mediums do you work in? Painting, 3D visual objects/sculptures and large scale murals. I mainly work with acrylics and spray paint on murals, and when painting, I work on canvas, wood and paper with enamel, acrylics and spray paint. The visual objects/sculptures are based on wood and metal and have a painted or coated surface. Do you have any local artists who you are particularly drawn to?  Actually, I have two artists I really admire and look up to: Dion Cupido and Paul Senyol. Both are good friends, great personalities and unique contemporary artists who work and live in Cape Town. Their artworks are very different from each other, but they are both very fresh, open minded and important for the art world. Do you have a favourite piece of your own or one you enjoyed creating the most? My favourite piece right now is Livelock. I created it in 2013 for an exhibition at Salon91. My goal was to trick the viewer's eye and to play with his or her perceptions. Playing with perception, movement and transparency is an important part of my work. Livelock is a term taken from the field of computer science and it symbolises the process of two objects in a moving situation. These two objects try to pass each other unsuccessfully and create a transparency through their movement. It was a great joy to develop a painting where I could visualise this specific momentum. Besides the concept, it was technically a very difficult artwork to paint. It is a medium-sized painting (140cm x 120cm) on wood and it consists of 83 adjacent patterns with bright colours in different spray paints and high-gloss acrylics. Together, the patterns give you the illusion of two drifting and overlapping twin layers that try to pass each other. This painting gave me ideas for future, large-scale artworks in the same style, which I will be working on this year and in 2015. What can we expect to see from your work in 2014? This year is a very interesting and exciting time. I am currently working on pieces on paper for a group exhibition, titled Paper is you 2, which is opening on 25 June 2014 at Salon91. I am also preparing for three group exhibitions, one art fair and a solo exhibition to be held in February 2015. I am really looking forward to creating more sculptures and work on large-scale canvases. Besides that, I am also working on a public mural in Sea Point with the Art54 project for World Design Capital 2014 and a large-scale public mural project in Woodstock for Side Street Studios. This year, I have set high expectations for myself, especially with regards to a handcrafted point of view and the technical execution of my artworks. To view more of Andrzej's work, visit aurbanski.com. Interviewed by Michaela Stehr