Albin Talik interviewed by Haseeb Ali Chishti
Albin Talik is a multimedia artist born in 1980 in Jelenia Gora who has been living and working in Krakow, Poland for several years. For a long time, the main area of his work was music, both in the form of live acts and compositions which he created for theaters, video games
and short films in his home recording studio.
At the age of 30, Albin decided to dedicate his future to the visual arts. He started searching for his place in this field, and found a way to create his own unique style and developed a technique for painting paper. His work is extremely colorful, made up of thousands of tiny pieces of paper, this mosaic-like work consists of several surrealist paintings, portraits, geometric compositions, even borderline psychedelic art. The result, thanks to Albin’s precise work, gives the illusion of oil paintings full of irregular brush strokes.
You’ve worked with a lot of mediums, digital and physical. What’s your favourite?
Collage. It’s just what I do every day. I cut paper. My story was like this: I signed up for painting classes with a PhD, Magdalena Siejko. I attended classes there for two years. I spent the whole night on academic drawing, I was copying my masters, I tried different techniques. One day my girlfriend convinced me to refine my composition and encouraged the use of colours by making collages. I made the first piece immediately and I have been devoted to it since then, however I am constantly developing it.
The technique I use nowadays is very original and unique, that is why I started to call it paper painting. My pictures consist only of paper and glue. I do not use paint at all, but I am trying to make it look like an oil painting with the characteristic colour transitions and brushes marks. At the beginning I wanted to do oil paintings, but then my daughter was born, and because I work at home, I decided to stop.
It’s got to be hard to characterise your work, but would you call it surrealistic, contemporary, absurdism? Do you prefer to give genres as markers or let the audience choose?
Oh, it’s hard because I change it very often. Much of my stuff is for sure surrealistic, I paint people without heads, pyramids, some cosmic landscapes, things like that. I draw inspiration from books. I read a lot. At the moment my favourite writer is Philip K. Dick. His books inspired me to ask questions about other dimensions, what’s real and what it is to be a human… I throw these things to my work consciously.
But at the moment I am into landscapes of my neighbourhood. I like to tell a stories. There is always some character on my canvas. My favourite style in art is fauvism. My paintings for many people are sad, in spite of the fact I use a lot of strong and vivid colors. I put in my paintings all of my emotions. It is easier to create in sorrow than in joy. At least for me.In my paintings, I do not show such topics as politics. I do not have a TV at home. I try to creatively spend my time. Life is running out fast. I think the most important thing is to be honest with yourself.
I love the prism hats in your Pyramids series, like blinkers on horses. Where does the inspiration for that come from?
The basic element of these paintings are the pyramid head. White and black. In each of us there are good emotions and bad emotions, good and evil. I try to show that we are all somewhat alike. We are all humans. It depends on us what we do with our lives – what path we choose. People often ask me why the characters in my paintings do not have heads or wear masks or pyramids. I like when art forces you to think, ask questions or thoughts. Of course, this is my point of view. Each image carries a slightly different message.
My first works were portraits and when starting a new series I wanted to do something completely different. I wanted to make something unnatural, different, strange. An object or geometric shape. People often associate it with the character of the game “Silent Hill” or the paintings by Tadeusz Makowski, who painted children with similar hats. Everyone sees what he wants and I like that.
Where do you see your own work going in the next few years? What drives you to keep making more art?
Good question. I don’t know. I have so many ideas in my mind, but one life. For sure I want to get back to oil paintings. At the moment, together with my friend Bartek Mazur, we sculpt some crazy stuff. Some wooden landscape kaleidoscopes. We are using mirrors, acrylic resin and other materials. It’s a fun thing to do.
When I work, it helps me. I like the feeling when the image is created. I do not expect great admiration for what I do. I can say that I am just starting. I’ve been painting for five and a half years, it’s not long. At the beginning it was very difficult and hugely time consuming. With time, I got more efficient. For me the most important thing is discipline. I work every day. No exceptions. I think this is the key to success. What drives me? Madness I think. I just can’t stop.
Haseeb would like to thank the wonderful people at ARTchung, Baby for being the first place where he noticed Albin Talik’s work and for help in contacting the artist.