Multipoint Art Symposium, Slovakia, 2014

This was my first time of visiting an art symposium. I did not know what to expect, and I knew only that I am going to Slovakia for 10 days and all will be taken care of. http://multipointnitra.wix.com/multipoint

When I arrived to Vienna, I and few other artists were picked up from the airport by a mini bus. We were delivered to Nitra, Slovakia, a city of about 85 000 people, about 2 hours away from Vienna, Austria.

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That evening we had a wonderful traditional Slovakian diner, where we had our chance to meet everybody: 13 invited artists and handful of organizers of the symposium. We tasted a very strong Slovakian drink in a shot glass and enjoyed our rich delicious dinner.

During the next 10 days we were taken care of as we were some sort of kings and queens. Everything was included, meals and residence in one of the best restaurants/pensions in town, transportation, studio space and more. Organizers were so amazing and extremely kind. Thanks to Martin, Nora, Susanne, Viliam and others.

Every morning we would have have breakfast, then we were brought to our shared studio, where each of artists received 6 large canvases and as much acrylic as we would need. In the middle of the day were were invited for lunch, freshly made for us daily at the studio’s kitchen. Later in the evening we would be taken back to the pension and offered wonderful dinner, after which a projector presentation of 2 artists will be taken place.

We would work at the studio from 9.30 am to 7.30 pm daily. After few days I was getting so tired and had to take naps after the lunch. Reason is that all of us would have not enough time to sleep, since every day after the presentations we would be partying, would it be on the territory of our residence or out in the city. But it was all fun.

 

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Our artistic group included artists from around the world: China, Africa, Europe and America. But let me go one by one and introduce everybody.

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Rafi Münz – Israel
rafim.com
Pottery, paintings on canvas.
Rafi was the oldest member of our group and yet the most energetic one. He likes dancing and singing. I enjoyed talking to him about art and life. He would bring some philosophical subjects up, like “Surviving as an artist = being yourself?”

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Danka Dimitrijevic – Belgrade
http://www.dankadimitrijevic.com
Very textures and abstracted works of mixed media, sculptures.
Works inspired by life experiences, philosophers, spirituality. She often signs her paintings with triangles (d – delta Danka) or egg-shaped ovals. Danka is joy. Always ready for party!

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Violeta Tanova – Bulgaria
violeta.tanova@yahoo.com
Sawn on glitter on textile, acrylics, mixed media. Works inspired by “fake childhood memories”, crime, suffering people, lonely souls. To be honest I was surprised how is that possible that such heavy subjects were covered by this charming miniature lady?.. Wow, Violeta.

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Viliam Sulik – Slovakia
Sulik.viliam@gmail.com
Stencil works that have a comics hint.
Vil was one of the organizers this year and was always so kind to help. He has a  series of “Secretar” works about locked objects, childhood memories about grandma’s room. He was always interested in finding out more behind hidden.

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Jiulio Zanet – Milan, Italy
giuliozanet.tumblr.com
Abstract works on canvas with color and objects as the main subject. Unites landscape with abstract. Often his canvas is separated on two parts. I enjoyed his saying “Always get lost to find yourself”. Julio is my favorite Italian and I loved spending time with him while having our after lunch espresso and studying Italian tongue twisters.

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Magdalena Sazdovska – Macedonia
magdalena.sazdovska@yahoo.com
Paintings on canvas, installations. Her art is about ballerina, it is a study of two personalities in ballerina: the visual and hidden, where you don’t see her feelings.
Magdalena was a ballerina for 10 years herself. Magda is a very kind person who is in love with United States, so we had some common subjects daily.

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Peter Barinka – Slovakia
petrbarinka.com
Work inspired by vector graphics and video games.Paintings on canvas, murals, installations. His works are very graphical with a mystery person always present. Night memories, visitors in the shape of shadows could be found in many of Peter’s works.

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Robert Waldeck – Canada
http://www.robertwaldeck.com
Paintings, mixed media, video. Started with figurative, story telling paintings. Now working with photography, telling stories about the characters. Very architectural work in my opinion. We were impressed with Robert’s film, designed for a music composition by Solar Solar. He spent one month making it, based on time laps photography.

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Vemo Hang – China
http://www.vemoh.com
Charcoal, oil. Her works are coming from imagination. What is reality and what is imagination? “Extreme mentality”. Vemo has travelled a lot, and made works based on travel photography. Vemo was my room mate and often we would discuss about our day and art.

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Martin Laca – Slovakia – organizer
http://www.myspace.com/martin_laca
Drawings, mono prints. Works are based on the inner search of balance. “How to harmonize chaos?”. Many works on paper are done with the slenderest pencil like you can imagine! Mostly, works have a humor point present. I enjoyed Martin’s series “Pink Dreams” where he illustrates his own dreams of becoming an astronaut or famous banjo music star… Martin is a very generous man, and we all are so thankful for organizing this amazing art symposium.

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Henrik Nolte – Germany
henriknolte.com
Watercolor on paper.
Henrik has registered “Das blog” – online sketch book – few years ago and during this time he started posting his small postcard size works. They are often based on film frames, or tv news. I am very impressed with Henrik’s larger scale works, he says it takes many days to complete one, as it has many layers of pigment applied.

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Jakub Janovsky – Check Republic
http://www.jakubjanovsky.com
Mixed media, paintings, installations. Jakub is often covering the subjects of crime, tattoo.
He enjoys drawing in abandoned places. It is important to work in the spaces that have no limit (border) “you can paint everywhere”, he says. Jakub likes hiding characters in a pointy shaped masks, “they all do horrible things”. Jakub has created his own technique, it invokes drawing on paper first and then using clear material over it and painting on top. I enjoy the esthetics of his works.

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Serge Attukwei Clottey – Gana, Africa
Sergeoclottey.blogspot.com
Paintings, installations, performances. Serge’s works are mainly about the climate change, he creates pieces from found objects to emphasize the luck of recycling. He made some works out of containers that were used for oil and now for water container to explain the water problem in Africa.

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Radovan Ondrus – Slovakia
radoondrus.tumblr.com
Our talented photographer. Please don’t let a young age of Rado confuse you, he is a very experienced photographer. I am very impressed with his talent and his ability to capture the moment in the best way. Rado was asked to capture every day of the symposium and had his own project as well. He asked each member to photograph him the way they wanted. As well as he has professionally photographed each of us, trying to capture our artistic personalities to give a hint of our interest. For example I was photographed with a hand-made telescope.

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And me, Ekaterina Smirnova – USA
ekaterina-smirnova.com
I mainly work in large scale watercolor, implement electronics into my works. At the symposium we all worked with acrylics, so did I. I will write a more detailed blog post about my works in progress. The paintings I made at 3D, I added foil shapes. Those two paintings are a study of the properties of projected and reflected light.

 

On the 8th day evening was our “Night out” day, it included a public speech of each of the artists at a youth lounge in the city, this time we had to be focused and each of us would only have 10 minutes to present 20 slides. I was the 2nd person to speak.

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On the 9th day we opened our group show, where each of artists received a document, symbolizing our participation in the symposium and a souvenir.

Even though it was a very intense time, it was also a very memorable one.

I recommend you to apply for the next year: http://multipointnitra.wix.com/multipoint

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