Artist interview: Lena Brazin

Four You Gallery
March 6, 2021

FYG: How do you define art?
LB: From a very vast perspective, I see art as a creation. It can be seen in anything, from fine art to nature, science and technology, etc. It changes shapes and forms as it can just be an idea or thought. In terms of fine art, my understanding is that art is anything that one decides to create, express and share with others with or without intention to influence the world around them and which also has some esthetic and harmonic qualities to it.

Seraphim, 2021-Acrylic and oil on cotton canvas-200 x 148 cm

FYG: How do you personally relate to art?
LB: Art makes my life richer. It complements the philosophy and makes me question life. It also helps me to navigate my own life.

FYG: Can you list 3 artists you are influenced by? And why?
LB: – 3 is not enough, but If I really need to narrow it down, I am going to say Henri Matisse, JM Basquiat and Hilma af Klint. Their use of vibrant and bold colours, marks, brush work and lines are something that I can very much relate to. On plus, Hilma af Klint was a visionary who was not afraid to express and channel different worlds through her paintings. I see a connection there as I am interested into spiritual as well. I also always gravitated towards the era of fauvism and expressionism, neo-expressionism and German expressionism. It is my cup of tea.

FYG: How do you interpret the meaning of your work?
LB: The everyday meets the metaphysical. Or, collision and merging of the seen and unseen.

FYG: Where do you find your inspiration?
LB: Life in general. Anything can inspire me.

Night Watch, 2021-Acrylic and oil on cotton canvas-148 x 200 cm

FYG: What part of the artistic work process do you most enjoy?
LB: – The act of painting itself. The whole process from start to finish. Once I play and listen to some background music and get into the zone, I am able to focus on that very moment and be totally present. Mixing the colours, finding the right composition, applying the colours and the materiality of it is all very enjoyable.

FYG: Can you tell us a bit more about your painting technics?
LB: I paint in layers. I usually start with water-based media and move to oil based paint on the top. I also mix my own paint by mixing pigments with different mediums.

Analog Girl I, 2021-Acrylic and oil on linen with crossed frame-150 x 150 cm Analog Girl II, 2021-Acrylic and oil on linen with crossed frame-150 x 150 cm

FYG: How did you come to choose the title of your show “Coincidental Encounters”?
LB: The title is very much self-explanatory. I wanted the show to be about those random but not really random meetings that we experience in life which end up being profound experience in one way or another.

FYG: How do you define the body of work presented in “Coincidental Encounters”?
LB: – All the work is about the strength of human spirit and bravery of being unapologetically truthful to yourself. It’s my contemporary version of non-religious but rather spiritual icon painting, where main characters carry certain archetypes such as of a guardian, warrior, magician.

FYG: Could you choose 3 works and tell us a bit more (title, subject, characters, colors, creation process etc..)
LB: 3 biggest paintings from the show that are all inspired by my friends portray and take upon certain roles. Night Watch is about being alert and ready for the action. Seraphim is about being the best version of yourself and about standing out and Kotare Kamaji is about being able to gracefully handle many tasks at the same time.

Kotare Kamaji, 2021-Acrylic and oil on linen-200 x 230 cm

FYG: How does your work comment on current social issues?
LB: I think today’s society lacks the ability of looking inwards. People struggle to implement the matters of the soul into their lives which causes more division. I’d like to inspire people to look beyond their material existence. I believe that is the way to achieve a better society.

FYG: How do you define success as an artist?
LB: Success is when you achieve a goal. My goal in painting is to make my living out of it so I am able to focus just on what I love the most.

FYG: What is your own perspective of life?
LB: Life is a playground. There is an opportunity to live it in so many ways, one just needs to decide and make their choices. We all have been given different spread of cards and tools to play with at the beginning and in the end, it is our decision on how we want to fulfill our path.

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