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Sebastian Skoczylas

InterviewSebastian Skoczylas

Interview by Wojciech Tuleya

Colourful waves. Somewhere between art and a reflection of life

Sebastian SkoczylasSebastian SkoczylasSebastian SkoczylasSebastian SkoczylasSebastian Skoczylas

The recipe for hot abstract painting is seemingly uncomplicated – colour, light and – alternatively – texture. What else?

The experience connected with landscape is very important to me. Later on I don’t find the traces of particular places or situations in my paintings, because it’s not a literal translation. I cannot say that an orange painting stands for sunset over the Baltic Sea… It’s more about impression – my sensation of landscape and moment. A painting is the outcome of visual experiences.

The echo of impressionism?

I do have impressionistic inclinations and I do like impressionism a lot, indeed, even though at first glance it may not be so noticeable in my paintings, since they are abstract after all.

What fascinates me most is the energy that colours emit. When it comes to the use of colour itself, Mark Rothko is my master. And going back to the aspect of landscape, I like Leon Tarasewicz’s approach. As for my education and inspirations, I owe a lot to Professor Józef Hałas, who used to teach me in the Wrocław Academy of Fine Arts. “I would like to keep a balance between art and the reflection of life, of nature. And also the balance between intuition and awareness,” says Professor Hałas.

When did you discover abstract art for yourself?

It was a longer process, but since the middle of my studies, since 2002, I have only been creating abstract paintings. All that time it’s all been about colour, its combinations, playing with colours and discovering how they interact and influence one another; how to paint light, make a painting soak in it.

Texture is very important in your paintings – all these gaps in the colour, multiple paint layers, some kind of transparency.

It wasn’t always like that. I discovered the importance of texture only at the end of my studies. Before that I had been using oil colours and the paintings had been smooth. Then I tried acrylic paints but I didn’t know how to handle them at first. Using a trial-and-error method I learnt know how to use them – I would put a layer and then remove it… By pure accident I discovered a rough uneven texture.

Do you have a favourite set of colours?

It changes. I thought about it recently and probably one could find some periods of colour preferences, colourful waves. Lately I keep thinking of blue paintings more and more often – saturated navy blue, not light blue. I have those generous and frugal periods – that’s for sure. Last year’s works are more economical than the previous ones.

You don’t sketch and you put colours together in your head – the final effect is predictable, do you paint intuitively?

I only paint in daylight – a lot depends on that. I have a concept of a painting, a set of colours, but it’s all dominated by what light there is in my atelier at that particular moment, what mood I am in and what general atmosphere there is – in other words, to what extent I am able to work out that balance between art and life in the painting.