By Vincent Echenique (Twitter @VinceEchenique Instagram: @FFmvincent)
Paper painting, down to earth
Born in Poland and living Cracow, 35-year old Albin Talik chooses paper painting as platform for expressing himself. Talik believes in freedom of expression, clearly shown on what he shows us. Paper painting responds to the simplicity of living for experimenting.
"The beginnings are always difficult. My first drawings were not satisfactory. My girlfriend persuaded me to do collages. I made my first collage immediately using technique that I use to this
day. I cut the paper into small pieces. Then I started to develop this style. New themes, new formats, new ground. At the same time I went on painting lessons to my friend Magda Siejko, which is
a great artist. For two years I studied drawing and painting. I wanted to learn the basics to be able to use in my collages. I really like to paint but I consider these "cut-out" works as
my „child” and I want to continue to develop. I also think that this way I can better express who I am and what I feel," introduces he himself.
Conception of a piece requires full commitment to research and experiment: experiences, is that right?
"First, I am looking for an idea. Pictures inspire me. I spend a lot of time in bookstores looking for albums. I really like old work: pottery, stove fitter, cooper, things like that. Then I
start drawing. I mostly use the cardboard thickness of 3 mm and dimensions 70X100 cm. When the drawing is finished I begin to fill the background. This is my favorite part. I try to make the
transition from dark to light. Background really affects the atmosphere of the picture and then I choose other colors. In the beginning when I was making the work of this format it took me a lot
of time. Now I have sorted colors, hundreds of bags with different pages. Then I fill the rest of the image. I intend to stick to the rules as in the real painting. So for example if I want to
"paint” a stone or fabric I cut the paper in a different way. I'm trying to forge a stroke of the brush. I love to play with the light. And that's it," Talik relied explicitly.
After having noticed that Talik´s work is very colourful and unique in forms, one sees how committed to the surroundings he is. The inclusion of the society prevails. It is what catches
one´s attention the most, for instance, in his series "Pyramid".
"The heroes of these paintings are grasp in the ordinary moments of life. We have a potter, librarian, seller, traveler, painter ... The basic element of these paintings are pyramid head. White
and black. In each of us there are good emotions and bad emotions, good and evil. I try to show that we are all somewhat alike. We are all humans. It depends on us what we do with our lives. What
path we choose. When I was studying painting, my teacher forbade me to use black and white paint. This series is my rebound on those prohibitions," declares Talik.
Perhaps, it is not a matter of being a rebel, but taking seriously the idea of freedom.
"People often ask me why the characters in my paintings do not have heads or wear masks or pyramids. I like when art forces you to think, ask questions or thoughts.Of course, this is my point of
view. Each image carries a slightly different message. Sometimes the most important thing is the atmosphere," he confirms.
Looking Up, getting inspired
"My first works were portraits and starting a new series I wanted to do something completely different. I wanted to make something unnatural, different, strange. An object or geometric shape.
People often associate it with the character of the game "Silent Hill" or the painting by Tadeusz Makowski, who painted children with similar hats. Everyone sees what he wants and I like that,"
the Pole artist continues.
"Good question. I do not know any similar artists. I meet sometimes similar things on the internet but everyone uses paper with writing. I do not. I want only color. I want people to think that they are seeing oil painting. So rather I admire painters. There are many, I can not point one. Polish painting is something that I love. And of course impressionists. I love Renoir, Degas, Manet, Pissaro. I love biographies of painters. Every day, I am studying their images.
But if you ask who is my role model I will respond briefly: Artur Trojanowski. He specializes in painting, film, installation. He is a man who forces you to think. Thanks to him I met a lot of very good Polish artists. Arthur and his wife Jola were the first people who invited me to participate in a group exhibition, which was the turning point in my career. I think he recognized that my work is worth showing, for which I am very grateful."
Motives and sources of inspiration?
Talik loves relating art to art, art to life. He explains what moves him the most. "I draw inspiration from books. I read a lot. For example, at the moment I read Richard Dawkins "The God Delusion" and this book inspired me searching questions about other dimensions, dark matter, string theory, black holes ... I throw these things to my recent work."
Perhaps, it does not mean that he lives artistically isolated from what his colleagues do, but, for him, it is a matter of telling genuine stories.
"Of course, other artists are also source of inspiration. But I do not want to copy. I want to tell my stories.Then there's the music. I always listen when I'm working. All sorts of things, from rock to hip-hop. At this point, I listen to the album "The Hurry and the Harm" by City and Colour. Beautiful melodies. I would recommend," says Talik
Processing life experiences?
"The best ideas come suddenly. Most often when I feel bad or feel sad. My series of "Rumination" began in a way that I had an argument with my girlfriend. I went home and just started drawing of a man who sits alone in the room and thinks about what he is doing wrong and why he does it. You know, thinking about his childhood, teen years, errors he committed in his youth. Ghosts that haunt him. Then I started to develop this series. Add things that I am interested in now. The whole cycle is evolving and I like it."
Artistic movement and representatives in Poland
"There are plenty. My favorite is Robert Bubel. An amazing artist. His paintings are brilliant. I really like Paweł Słota and his "Disclosed Spaces" series. Something beautiful.
I also recommend Marta Antoniak and her melted plastic paintings. I'm also a big fan of Małgorzata Wielek-Mandrela.
When it comes to the artistic movement in my country, a lot is happening. I am involved in the creation of many events. Together with my friend Artur Trojanowski, we organize "Independent Art Meetings". We move the exhibition to concert halls, abandoned buildings ...
I remember when I was in Spain I visited the Picasso museum. Silence, lots of bodyguards, taking pictures was not allowed ... I felt like I walked into the church and then went to Figueres to the Dalí Theatre and Museum. Crazy place. Everything allowed. Colorful, loud, like in an amusement park. And I liked it very much. I wanted to do something like this in Poland. I oganized an exhibition with a DJ playing, which loosened the atmosphere."
Freedom of interpretation
"I prefer the people themselves come to their own conclusions. But if someone asks me, of course, I will be happy to tell them what I mean. I remember one story: Some time ago I read a book by Stephen King "Duma Key". Under its influence I started to create several paintings. One of them shows two girls that hold the black flag. When I showed this work on the Internet, many people sent me positive comments about how I care about their lives and the political situation. At the beginning I did not know what was going on. It turned out that it was just the time when the Russia-Ukraine situation became very tense. So as you can see everyone receives the image the way he wants. The image that for me represented characters in the book for someone became a symbol of freedom, struggle, justice."
Being humble, down to earth
"When I work. It helps me. A little selfish. I like the feeling when the image is created. I do not expect great admiration for what I do. I can say that I am just starting. I’ve been painting for four and a half years, it's not long. At the beginning it was very difficult and hugely time consuming. With time, I got more efficient. For me the most important thing is discipline. I work every day. No exceptions. I think this is the key to success.
Of course I care about showing my work to the public. Until today, I’ve had 7 exhibitions which is a huge success to me. I like when people think they're watching oil painting. My girlfriend is my first critic and I really appreciate her comments. She can honestly tell me where I make mistakes so I can quickly correct something,change. This helps in further projects."