Andrzej Makowski – born 1955 in Jaworzno. Graduated from the State School of Fine Arts in Krakow. Studied at the Faculty of Painting of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow. Diploma in the studio of Prof. Jan Szancenbach in 1980. Teacher at the State School of Fine Arts in Kraków (1980-1986) and Katowice (1986-2021). Creativity in painting and drawing. In my achievements: individual exhibitions and participation in about 50 collective exhibitions. Participated in post-competition exhibitions: Painting Competition ZRPomorski – BWA Katowice, Polish Triennial with Still Life – BWA Sieradz, 3rd Triennial of Polish Contemporary Drawing – Lubaczów, International Miniature Exhibition – Częstochowa, 7th Biennale of Small Paintings – Toruń and exhibitions of the Association of Polish Pastelists in Katowice District, Association of Polish Pastelists in Nowy Sącz, Educational Exhibitions, in the exhibition “J. Szancebach and Students” (1988, 2018). He participated in plein-airs and artistic gatherings, including: Workshops for them. J. Czapski in Laille-en-Val (France), Nadbużański Open Air Painting – Dworek Łukowiska (since 2013), Painting Workshops in Sandomierz.
Artistic Awards: National Pastel Exhibition – Nowy Sącz (1991, 1994), Prize of the Mayor of Jaworzno (2003).
Ela Bigas: It seems that the changing sun is the biggest problem for landscape painters. How do you control this discomfort?
Andrzej Makowski: The variability of light in a landscape is an inconvenience, but it can also be an asset because it inspires formal solutions and the definition of the color atmosphere of the painting. Moreover, today we can rely not only on a visual memory or a sketch made by ourselves, but also on photographic documentation.
In the commemorative book of your exhibition in the Jaworzno library there are only delights: the power of a creative vision, beautiful works, balm for the soul, craftsmanship in itself, an exhibition that evokes the power of positive emotions. What else do you want?
AM: These entries are beautiful words of appreciation, interest and positive reception, they undoubtedly make me happy and mobilize. Although the works are not commissioned, but “con amore” and usually in solitude, the recipient is necessary if there is an author-sender.
Why not present your works with characters or even portraits?
AM: The dominant theme of my painting is landscape, without the presence of figures, which can be interpreted symbolically and of which a certain attitude is consistently implemented. I decided that the presence of a self-portrait, portrait or other motifs would break the unity and harmony of the presentation.
You presented the Carpe Diem series at the exhibition. Are you not wasting your time, that is, lazing around a bit?
AM: Maksyma from the poetry of Horace – Carpe Diem – “seize the day”, do not waste the passing moments of life, has many interpretations related to the attitude to life, worldview. I am interested in the aesthetic and sensational dimension – the joy of this spectacle, which we currently perceive in the landscape, nature, which I try to express in the language of painting. It has more to do with admiration, emotion, effort to express oneself, than a state of any carelessness, or so-called blissful laziness.
What is your dream location?
AM: The shortest thing to say is the one that will result in good images.
About Jan Stanisławski it was written that “he always had his nervous system ready to receive impressions”. The term “nervous apparatus” meant talent and artistic sensitivity. Do you experience such a “turn off your fantasy” or do you see everything with the eye of the painter?
AM: I don’t want to compare myself to Jan Stanisławski, because he is an excellent and recognized painter, but it’s kind of like what you see in your imagination turns into an image you want to paint and too often don’t materialize.
Which “great painter” always makes a big impression on you?
AM: It’s changed over the years, mainly because I like to look and I’m enchanted by many paintings from antiquity to now and I don’t want to name a specific author.
Do you like painting exhibitions? Which gallery or museum would you like to visit?
AM: I like looking at paintings, I don’t get bored with them, preferably right before the painting, although I also appreciate being able to view it online or on printed reproductions. I would like to visit all the museums to see the famous “great masters” and also make unexpected discoveries.
What’s in your artistic plans?
AM: To answer this question, I will use a quote that is already present in this conversation – “Carpe Diem”.
Why has landscape become the dominant theme of your painting?
AM: The choice has made the landscape the dominant theme of my painting. It is not a fantastic landscape, but reflects a specific natural or often architectural theme. This motif becomes an inspiration to look somewhere between an impression or impression, and the expression of emotions, spirituality – expression. I would like a photo to become an expression of the beauty of nature and the complexity of the world through an undefined, ambiguous form, penetrating, open to interpretation, and also through a diversified structure, colors and light, and even a symbol of the ultimate Hope and Sense.
In addition to oil paintings, I present various works made with the pastel technique, which I have liked to use in the past. In addition to using the pastel in the classic workshop form, I also combined the chalk with a tempera and acrylic undercoat, as fidelity to the vision and artistic expression were more important to me than doctrinal adherence to the demands of technology.
I have always liked working with the method of the “thematic cycle”, ie returning to the topics already discussed or developing a motif in several variants. I think that this way you can focus, look for the desired effects and stay more engrossed in the subject for longer.
All the works presented were created in the “quiet” of the studio, but were inspired by specific, existing places, where I found, among other things, that I participated in organized open-air paintings, today not only for studying nature but also for encounters of artists , exchanging ideas and creative experiences.
Thank you for the conversation. Ela Bigas