Meet the Artist // Magdaléna Ševčík
Meet Magdaléna Ševčík (@magdalenasevcik), a professional abstract painter, whose paintings are a vivid blend of playfulness and boldness. The canvases showcase intricate color interplay as backgrounds, contrasted by precise geometric lines in the foreground. These foreground motifs either negate or harmonize with the backdrop.
How did your artistic journey begin?
I came from an artistic family, so I have been in touch with art ever since I was a kid. But my journey to pursue it professionally was far more complicated. At first, I focused on academic research instead of creating art. I decided to become an artist only in my late 20s. Before finishing my Master’s I spent some time in Finland, studying Fine Arts. It was there under the Aurora Borealis when I realised that I enjoy creating art more than just writing about it. So I slowly began to develop my own artistic language and experiment with different styles and techniques.
A milestone for me came almost seven years ago when I started painting abstractly. My focus shifted to colours and putting them in contrast with straight geometric lines.
How would you describe your practice as an artist?
My art practice is filled with contrasts, layers, hidden games, and symbolism. When I think of it, there is always this contrast between intuitive and rational approaches being mirrored in the artwork itself. In many ways it’s my practice connected to my personality – slightly chaotic, temperamental, and anxious, to gain at least some control over the chaos.
I always start with the colours in the background. I choose a specific set and explore the possibilities of how these colours mix, blend… how they interact together. At first, they are raw, by layering them I create some kind of organised chaos. It often looks like a burst of energy coming out of me, vivid and fluid clouds. I enjoy this non-specificity. Then I continue with the geometric shapes in the foreground. I use them to add another layer. Not only visually, but also as symbols of hidden meanings and agenda that I often have within the series. To me, they are these rational “dots” that are piercing the clouds and adding context. To me colours are like feelings and shapes are like words. Only together they create visual sentences. Together they have a meaning.
What inspires you to create your art?
My art is tightly connected to my personality. To me, art is like living. I create art exactly as I live my life – with curiosity and grit. Through art, I process my life experience. So to answer your question: I don’t have any inspiration per se. I analyse what’s happening around me and within me. Then I ask questions on canvas. Sometimes my focus goes inwards. I am fascinated by the human mind. Sometimes I turn to natural sciences and uncover something bigger. And sometimes I just feel something so strongly that it has to get out…
For example, here at GlogauAIR, I was exploring memory, which has always been a very personal topic for me. Mostly due to my grandmother’s Alzheimer’s disease. It is a terrible thing to realise that with this disease you die twice. At first, whoever you are dies, because your personality is tightly connected to your memories. All your experience is suddenly somewhere where you can’t access it any longer. Only after that does your physical shell die. It is both fascinating and terrible to see someone so lost and empty.
That is why I started using white. I use it often both in background and shapes. To me it is a symbol of this loss otherwise it can be seen both as empty and full. All the memories are there, but where? There is this thing of maybe trying to capture my memories as much as I can, for as long as I can. I find it fascinating to encapsulate my own experiences on canvas and come back to them after a while and see them exactly as when I was painting them.
What influenced your decision to come to GlogauAIR?
It´s a lot factors. I’ve been here a few times before my residency and it has always been quite an interesting visit. I like the vibe of the city, its variety, and possibilities and… stubbornness. It is almost like a living thing. Sometimes Berlin wants you and embraces you, sometimes you feel rejected. I wanted to stay longer and have a complex experience. Uncover its hidden layers. Also my friends was here at GlogauAIR and they say it was nice.
Does the city of Berlin have an influence on your production?
It has no effect on the visuals of my latest series. But (subconsciously) it is definitely giving me more freedom to explore. I feel freer to be explorative and creative. There are no limits here. Everything is possible. I love the fact that the scene here is so wide and diverse. I think it’s been pushing me to work harder.