Five questions to Joanna Pongowska

Five questions to Joanna Pongowska

Joanna Pongowska is an artist originally from Warsaw, Poland (born in 1973) where she is currently living and working. She holds a M.F.A. from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw in Poster and Graphic Design completed in 2001. Her abstract, colourful works mostly takes inspiration from the dynamics of nature.How did you get into art?

Art, nature and music are a significant part of my life from childhood. I spent years playing on the piano, drawing and painting, but it took awhile before I decided to quit music and focus on fine art which at the end led me to study at the Academy of Fine Arts. After art school I focused on graphic design as a freelancer but also continued to paint until I joined Disney Consumer Products. First in Warsaw, later in Paris, France - as a Regional Creative Manager - and became committed there, leaving art behind for a long time. Years later I decided to follow my heart - I abandoned corporate life, moved to Los Angeles in California and came back to art creation.

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

My style evolved to abstract last years. I work by series in each of the techniques. From series to series colour code remains saturated, vibrant and energetic but gets much darker and graphical. Some of my paintings are created quickly, some may transform step by step within months or more - I like to come back to older paintings from previous series and adjust them to the current vision. Some paintings are dissapearing under new layers and are unrecognizable - this is a process similar to natures renewal processes. I also like to work with paper - creating colourful collages and cutouts. For that I often re-use paper scraps with traces of colour from the bigger paper series into smaller pieces like collages.How do you go about developing your work?

I create colourful abstract paintings, collages and graphics. Colour is my main tool, as well as contrasting tangled graphic elements. My art is inspired by nature and its dynamics of shapes and colours but it also resonates my need for positive vibrations, love for folk, colourful art and most likely reflects some musical sounds that echoes from my long time period of a life of a pianist. My mediums of choice are at the moment acrylic paints on canvas and on paper. Who or what influences you?

Nature is and will always be an important area of my longlife observation, experience and inspiration. Places I lived and travelled to while working at global corporation or later for personal reasons inspired me deeply and can be easily find in my art either in abstract or more realistic pieces on canvas or on paper.

Polish folk culture of Łowicz region, with its traditional cutouts, paper crafts, colourful folk costumes and handmade local art - I am exploring this extraordinary area of our culture and step by step some elements appear in a symbolic or more realistic form in my art.

Great Artists I admire: Eduardo Chillida, Wojciech Fangor, Georgia OKeeffe, Mark Rothko, Władysław Strzemiński and many others.Make us curious. What are you planning to do next?

In December 2023 I will present selection of my recent series of paintings on canvas from Tangled series at the Artshow exhibition in Warsaw, Poland. In 2024 I will work on the new series on canvas, new series of collages and paper cutouts, preparing for a solo, group exhibitions and art fair. Parallel to my art creation I was co-creating new one year art space in Warsaw, Poland (2018) - a modern and professional exhibition space for contemporary art (500 sqm). As Curator and Art Director of Tymczasowa Art Gallery I wasresponsible for the consistent strategy and mission of the gallery, selection of art and artists, organisation, design and curation of exhibitions. I am always eager to learn and develop my competences in both areas - as an artist and as art manager, curator, so I continue to educate myself constantly, meet and work with talented people, study new areas and work on new creative projects. Learn more about the artist: