artist’s statement

New things do not inspire me. They are just some novelty, with no personality, which can often be attributed to things which have longer been existent on a timeline. My favorite working material is old wooden boards. Each ages differently, each has a unique pattern carved by the time. They provide material, which already at moment of being picked up has its specific history and its own particular energy.

At the other extreme, there is paper, which I like to use as the base. As opposed to boards and other “found items”, there is lightness and temporality to it. I execute multiple sketches on it, also in large formats. They take on the form of a note, a gesture I wish to preserve. Regardless of the material I chose, it serves mainly to convey my idea.

I seek sources of inspiration in mythologies and beliefs; I feel a bond with Carl Gustav Jung’s works. I try to transfer their symbolic layer, attempting to adapt it to modern times. My assumption is that the modern man is emotionally not much different from his ancestor from e.g. two thousand years ago. Therefore I believe that many modern human actions can be described with archetypical symbols. Stripping the message from modernity allows for a better presentation of mechanisms behind our actions. This is also where my modesty or outright ascesis in the use of formal means comes from. Moreover, my works are greatly influenced by Gothic sculpture and painting, replete with symbolism and spirituality, but I am also inspired by the German expressionism.

The ultimate effect is a result of a long process, consisting in the choice and – importantly – material preparation, its impregnation and processing; completing numerous sketches, then finally – transferring them onto the warp. The last stage is usually spontaneous and intuitive – it is a good moment to befriend the case. But, as Edward Hopper said, “If I could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint.”

Darek Kondefer statement