Five questions to May Lipkind

Five questions to May Lipkind

May Lipkind (born 1987 in Bryansk, USSR/Russia) resides in Copenhagen, Denmark. Using painting as a form of visual diary, she draws inspiration from memories, poetry, and philosophy of slow living, among other things. She embraces a process that oscillates between spontaneity and control, finding balance through experimentation. 

Tell us your story, why did you become an artist?

I have always been a creative person. Dancing and singing as a kid, sketching and writing poetry in my teenage years, writing a column for a student magazine. 

After graduation I focused on my corporate career until at one point I felt a strong urge to start creating again. It was about 10 years ago. First I completed several illustration courses, then other art courses followed. 

Abstract art attracted me most as a visual language which seemed especially meaningful and personal. First I wanted to build a foundation, learning all the basic concepts in painting, trying various materials and techniques. Finally, last year I participated in an art residency program, and things started falling into place.

When you create a new work, how do you go about it? What comes first?

Though I make sketches, both digital and on paper, I rarely refer to them when starting a new work on canvas. For me creating art is an extension of my journaling habit but in a visual way. I never really prepare myself before I journal, however I have a first sentence in mind and an overall direction of what I am going to journal about. Painting is very similar for me in that sense.

What can you tell us about your studio, what makes it special to you and how does it influence the way you work?

I currently work at my home studio. I love the space and try to keep it cozy and organized but sometimes it can get messy. It is in fact a bedroom, and at first I thought of removing the bed to have more space. I ended up keeping it as it turned out to be the perfect platform for my painting technique, allowing me to move around freely. My process requires placing the canvas horizontally, and many artists work on the floor. But after testing all available surfaces, I found that this one works best. 

Is there a work of art in your life that has especially impressed you?

So many… The whole Marc Rothko exhibition in Paris left a strong impression on me. I also fell in love with Cy Twombly lately. Speaking of one specific artwork, the one that comes to mind is Jacob’s Ladder by Helen Frankenthaler. I am fascinated by this work, its colors and composition. Hope to see it one day and spend some time studying all the little details.

Reach to the stars: where will you be in 5 years?

In 5 years I hope to have a large body of work and a CV that I am proud of. That means, of course, working on exciting projects, participating in exhibitions and art residencies, etc.

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