Five questions to Helena Kraszczuk

Five questions to Helena Kraszczuk

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Helena Kraszczuk is a Brazilian visual artist born in 1980. She lives and works in São Paulo, BR. With a background in architecture, Helena is currently exploring the expression through abstract paintings.

How did you get into art?

I grew up in a family involved in arts in different ways, so I had a good environment to learn and practice art as part of a normal life. I leaned towards visual arts. I studied and practiced painting, photograph, collage, sculpture and I have a bachelor’s degree in architecture.
For me, creating art in physical form is a potent way to be aware of inner processes and develop ideas, individually and collectively. I like abstraction because I see it as a very direct form of communication.

How would you describe your style? What makes your work special?

I'm exploring the space between impulse and thought with charcoal drawings and acrylic painting. The result are bold images, full of movement, layers, textures, colors and energy.
This work is special because of the unexpected beauty of the chaos.
In this process, as in life, each step is carefully (or not so much) created, but one can not really know how it will play out in the whole picture or in the small pieces that are shared with others, where they are seen in different contexts from different perspectives. We don't know what is missing or why this or that is there, and yet we are able to make meaning of it, judge it in many ways, and see beauty in it. I think this is amazing.

How do you go about developing your work?

I start with a quiet mind, drawing free movements with charcoal on a set of sheets of white paper fixed together. Then I choose, mix and apply the colors one at a time. It is a very moment by moment process, where I keep all my focus on that one color, movement, texture. Some of them I enjoy and think how beautiful they are, other moments I feel weird, and I don't know why I would do that. Nothing is fixed, whatever happens is owned. This goes on until I feel like something has turned off, there is a relaxation of 'it's done.' Only then a I start to really look at the whole picture and think about it. It is a very fun process for me. The only hard work is not allowing my judgmental mind take part of it. Every time I tell myself that no one will never see it, so I can be free to experiment. But some of the paintings are so intriguing to me that a want to share and see how others react, so that I can maybe understand them better.

Who or what influences you?

When I see how busy my paintings are, I think they reflect the complexity of the reality I experience.
I love following what artists are creating today, in painting, cinema, fashion, sculpture, everything. I'm definitely influenced by that. I studied art in the traditional European way. I live in a city where I am surrounded by street art and where so many different cultural expressions of art coexist. Also, I traveled and lived in Asia, where I could see and learn something about ancient and modern Asian art, architecture, and design. I don't have favorites and I don't know how it all mixes together inside of me. So far, I can only acknowledge that contemplating complexity is an important part of my life experience, and it does influence the art I create.

Make us curious. What are you planning to do next?

I want to continue painting in the Fragments Project format, I am still fascinated by these small pieces of intensity that this process produces. They invite you to get closer to discover its nuances. Also, I've been enjoying thinking about larger paintings representing atmospheres – with no action or theme, just the scenery, as the color palette of a movie or the weather of a day.r.

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