Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wednesday Interview: Olaf Hajek

Olaf Hajek is Berlin based painter, illustrator, designer. Here's a lovely interview he gave for our blog..

Have you always wanted to became an artist? Can you tell us about your first contact with art?
Yes I guess I always wanted to become an artist..I was drawing a lot as a kid and visited drawing and painting courses next to school as a teenager. I think I learned more at that time while during my study.

Which project has given you the most satisfaction?
Every nice project is giving me satisfaction, but to be honest my personal series which I created for my gallery shows give me the most satisfaction. The artistic freedom and the way to experience new artistic directions are the nicest thing.

"Black Antoinette" book is accepted splendidly. Can you tell us a bit more about your work on that book?
Black Antoinette is the second monograph of my work, which documents commercial and gallery work from the last 3-4 years. The Book showcases my bigger gallery shows and work for commercial clients.It is a stunning volume of pleasing and disturbing images, colorful yet dark, happy yet morose. One of my favorite series are the different paintings of "Black Antoinettes". My idea was to create an image of luxury, opulence, and beauty which has nothing to do with wealth and prosperity. I adapted the idea of Marie Antoinette and created a "Black Antoinette" who is wearing the idea of the whole nature on her head—the beauty as well as the birth and death and the evanescence. Out of the first image I painted a whole series was born. 

What type of books are on your beside table?  
I love to read..on my bedside table you find a travel documentation about Africa, the new novel by Lily Brett and the latest issue of Monocle Magazine 

You said that you're inspired by folkloric elements and naive/primitive arts, among others, and there's sure a lot of elements to explore and develop. Where else do you search for your inspiration? Do you ever think to explore something completely new from your previous work?
I am inspired and driven by the contradiction of beauty. I always need something dark next to the light. I love the power of simplicity and combine it with elegant elements. My work of course is also very personal and I just paint what I saw and took on during the day or my travel 

Cat or dog?
A combination, for sure 

What would be your dream project?
My dream project I have right now, preparing my new gallery show in Cape Town for 3 months. I don´t take on any commercial assignment and just concentrate on my paintings and the series for the new show. I see that this focus is very important and takes you to another level. My paintings get much bigger in size and I can experiment much more. My dream would be to do more gallery shows and find the time to focus just on that work....but well they need to be commercially successful as well..

If you could do any other job what would you choose and why?
I might do something with food or interior, because I love the different ingredients and textiles and materials. 

Pepsi or Coke?

If you were a character from Star Wars, which one would you be?
I really don´t like any thing of Science Fiction and was never a fan...I even can´t remember if I ever saw a whole episode of star wars 

How would you define your personal work-life balance in terms of ratio (50/50 70/30 etc)?
Maybe 70/30, but my work is my its hard to say.... 

What brings you joy?
Good friends, the light, music and good food 

And for the end of our interview, can you tell us a bit more about your current work in Capetown? How's your preparation going? Do you enjoy locals and their energy and of course, how's the food :)? 
OH I love it I said, first of all its wonderful to be in a different world and just concentrate on the paintings. I got offered a beautiful studio place in the BooKap and old colored Islamic quarter of town. Its exotic and takes you again away from the known world and routine. I am here for 3 months and met a lot of nice and friendly people and enjoy their support and hospitality. The light is so amazing and really makes me happy and you always see the mountains and the see. Food-wise Cape Town is my heaven and paradise. Sophisticated Soul Food....and the best wine!!!

Olaf, thank you for your time and we wish you all the best with your future projects and exhibitions. Cheers :) 
For more work, please visit Olaf's site

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