Updated: Apr 24
Teresa Legierska is a contemporary Polish artist who in her artwork addresses the "inner child" of every viewer, in a calm and melancholic way, showing deep human emotions and experiences.
Teresa Legierska was born in 1992 in Koniaków. In 2019, she graduated with honors from the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice in the field of Painting, in the studio of prof. Jacek Rykała. Currently, her work is very popular in the art world and is placed in the best auction houses in Poland, such as Desa Unicum, but also among private collectors.
The artist doesn't say much about her artwork, only as much as she has to. She is one of those artists who would like to paint a picture and then hide to work on the next one.
Usually the only comment for the work is the title. It suggests what the artist was thinking about during the painting process. It prompts but does not impose any interpretation.
However, in an interview for Art SPOT, she opened up to us a bit, sharing her vision of the world through art.
YV: You can clearly see the symbolic image of a child in your work. Works such as "Leave room for miracles" or "You are the light", made calmly, mostly using grey and blue tones, deeply influence the viewer's perception, immersing them in the world of sincere childhood fantasies. Please tell me why children? Is it directly related to your personal childhood experiences?
Teresa Legierska: I know my childhood from the autopsy, like all of us. Anyway, I have the impression that I still have an inner child inside me. While studying at the Academy of Fine Arts, I worked part-time as a nanny. Undoubtedly moving in an environment filled with such energy inspired me.
The presence of a child, especially a sick, suffering child, is what I see when I think about my childhood. There were six siblings at home, three of us stayed.
I think that this period made me sensitive to the suffering of a small, innocent creatures, which gave me the choice of the medium that I use now in my work.
However, I have never painted pictures about my childhood, which I will highlight - it was full of love and kindness. It is simply that the child best expresses the content that I want to talk about in my work, e.g. sensitivity, naivety. In conclusion, my childhood experiences made me very sensitive, but my paintings do not illustrate my memories of that period. These are images about current thoughts and experiences.
YV: You use a variety of techniques and materials, from a plain painting on canvas that is familiar to the viewer, to non-standard solutions using materials such as wood, stone or plastic. If you could use any material on the planet, what would it be and why?
Teresa Legierska: At the moment, it is utilising a large studio, with lots of natural light and wooden parquet. In addition, good quality oil paints and a lot of linen under paintings. I feel that this is a period of development of my painting skills and I leave experiments during this time so that they do not obscure what is the essence of painting.
YV: When analysing your canvases, one more clear trend can be seen, namely, you present groups of people in such works as "The Flicker of Faith", "Step to Silence", "Entliczek - Pentliczek" or "The Strike". What inspires you to portray crowded gatherings?
Teresa Legierska: This is the result of my research, I know that a painted group of people has a different effect on the viewer than painting one lonely figure. It evokes different feelings, it moves content related to our emotions when we are among others. For example, it talks about relationships and cooperation. Within my own style, I am looking for the best solutions to express what is in my heart when I start a painting.
YV: By visiting your exhibition at least once, the viewer can easily recognize Legierska's unique melancholic style. Will you still stick to this style in your work, or will you leave room for experimentation?
Teresa Legierska: I don't plan to change my style, but I want to develop. That is why I think that changes will come slowly, but more within the composition, maybe some simplifications. When it comes to the themes of the works, or this melancholic atmosphere, I feel authentic in it and I am not planning a revolution. What kind of artist will I be in a dozen or so years ... hard to say. Nothing is stable in life. Curiosity about how I will develop keeps me painting.
YV: Your works are very popular in the art market. Both in the best auction houses in Poland, such as Desa Unicum, but also among private collectors who find you in other ways. What kind of people mostly buy your paintings? Are they mainly private collectors or companies?
Teresa Legierska: I have only been on the art market for about a year, watching my colleagues, I still have to wait a bit and, above all, work hard to achieve really satisfying results.
However, I am happy that paintings sell well enough to make a living only from painting.
It is happiness when passion becomes work. Personally, I have never met most of my clients, because at art auctions only the auction house has contact with those interested.
It also happens that I get an e-mail asking me to send photos of free paintings for sale. Someone just saw me somewhere and decided to write. At this point, I take individual orders less and less because there is not enough time for everything. I definitely prefer to sell what I paint than to paint what sells.
YV: Do you have a favourite artist whose work fascinates and inspires you the most?
Teresa Legierska: I don't think I have one. I am inspired to work and fulfil my dreams by extraordinary personalities, not necessarily related to art. I've read a lot of biographies, it's my favourite literary genre. All these people have common features, they share their diligence, commitment and passion. After reading this, I know how much time it takes to be successful. However, if you ask what artists I like, it will be Boznańska, Whistler, Impressionists, Rothko, Richter.
YV: Right now, all over the world we are experiencing all the difficulties related to lockdowns. Tell me, please, how does this time affect your creativity and the implementation of your plans? What advice do you have for other artists during this difficult time for all? What should you remember as a creator?
Teresa Legierska: I have no right to complain about the negative impact of the pandemic on my work. On the contrary, I have the impression that people in these difficult times more willingly invest their capital in art, treating it as an investment for the future. They hope to buy the painting now, and in a few years the value will be much higher. However, I miss the cultural life, I will be happy to visit a good exhibition, I will go to the gallery when the situation improves.
I keep my fingers crossed for young artists, and my advice is simple - work hard and believe in yourself. It will be fine.
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