KO Artist Feature Laura La Wasilewska
Laura La Wasilewska is an artist and art curator. She currently lives and works in the USA and Poland. Currently her works include a new big series of paintings “IN PROGRESS”– Portraits of famous artists like Jean Michel Basquiat, Eric Fischl, Kris Night, David King Reuben and hospitably Pablo Picasso and everyone’s favorite female artist Frida Kahlo to name a few.
I connected with Laura online over them summer while I was in Europe. I am immediately drawn to her portrait paintings because of the vivid colors and delicate brush strokes that seem translucent in places. Her work is deliberate, expressive and somewhat raw in a way that makes her art so easy to look at. I am so grateful for the opportunity to get to know Laura and her work a little better.
Q & A with artist Laura La Wasilewska
KO: What is your personal definition of art?
LLW: A set of experiences, emotions, sensations, passions, love, thoughts written by an artist on a white piece of paper or linen, the size of 2 meters square. Art gives unlimited opportunity to speak on any topic, it is the artist’s choice which one, what values and principles guide him in his choice. In art the mystery cannot be missed, but nowadays we often try hard, like in life, to reveal it.
What is important is the intention of a given piece of art. I think that a man has been close to art since the very beginning. Looking at the history of art as a whole , it always has been full of beauty, harmony, preserving proportions, spiritual. Any other attitude in art is a very brave experiment, bringing new experience but still difficult to be “domesticated” for psyche, soul, and a body of a human being. This is my opinion. Even if we tried so hard many times in XX and XXI century to glorify anti-beauty, anti – art, even if we tried to ruin and set fire to rules, techniques, humility, patience, “spirituality” in art still we return to our own bedrooms surrounded by beautiful, classical art. Otherwise we go “sleepy” and irritated.
KO: What is your Artistic Medium?
I paint and draw. These are my two favorite techniques and means of artistic expression. Thus, in painting for many years I have been using acrylics (sometimes paints) on canvas. Drawing can be both : the dry pastel on large tracts of “gray” paper, but also small format, white paper, cloth, pens, stylographs.
KO:At what age did you decide you were an artist?
LLW: When I was 10 years old I got interested in art , its history and market. It has been so since that time.
I graduated from The Art High School , then I studied art in the European Art Academy in Warsaw. It was always my individual decision and choice. I think that after my studies I was mature enough to decide to deal with art. Today I am 30 years old. I finished my studies 6 years ago.
KO: What is your earliest “art” memory that evoked the feelings inside you?
LLW: Telling the truth , I do not remember! I am sure of one thing – whenever I am creating myself , watching pieces of art in galleries and museums all over the world I am accompanied by feelings and intentions arising from them. Sometimes it isemotion, delight, smile, recalling childhood memories, smells, sounds, images….
KO: What is your favorite film?
LLW: Really only one?! (Hahaha) I have such moments in life that I hardly watch movies . However, the last six months, I watched a dozen movies, several premiers in the cinema. I got interested in films which earlier were not attractive, like deep psychological, futuristic, science fiction, apocalyptic , for example: Road (2009), Mad Max (2015), The Book of Eli (2010).
The films which I especially like are: Girl With a Pearl Earring, The King’s Speech, Lost in Translation, Some Like It Hot, The Butler, The Help (2011)
KO: Who is your favorite fashion designer?
LLW: Ralph Lauren
KO: What are the staples of your wardrobe?
LLW: Classic and elegant dresses by Ralph Lauren, a Cashmere sweater, striped or checkered shirts
high heels shoes by Peter Kaiser, Calvin Klein, jeans and t-shirts made of good cotton, leather flip-flops.
KO:What kind of music do you like to listen to while you are working?
LLW: For me music is space, rhythm, mood, a word. So, depending on my emotions I listen to different types of music from classical to soul, blues, jazz and indie rock.
KO: Who is your favorite artist?
LLW: There is no one favourite. I admire the works of Caravaggio, Olga Boznańska, Neo Rauch, Lucian Freud.
KO: What artistic movement or period has influenced you the most in your own practice?
LLW: I think that any experience is educational for us , but we have to be able to draw conclusions from the lesson of life. I have recently caught new breath , I have become sure and grateful for what I have. I have found many inspirations during a 6-month stay in the USA. I am going to go back there.
KO: What did your parents do that help encourage/discourage you in your artistic practice:
LLW: Yes, my parents have been supporting me ever since I was a child. First my mum was taking me for painting lessons because I wanted so much. Even though I had already started learning in the Art School , I wanted more. Then I finished my studies, the European Academy of Art in Warsaw, Poland. Even though I had fantastic tutors there and I was very well prepared both theoretically and practically, I still was visiting museums in Europe, I took part in workshops , artistic projects, art festivals . It was all possible due to financial and emotional help from my Parents and Brother.
KO: What advice would you give future artists?
LLW: I am myself at the beginning of my artistic career. But if I were to share my experience with you , I would say that you have to be determined , focused and you should keep working and working. You should be grateful for any experience, even if it is not nice. You should be grateful and patient. The world around will accept it and will thank you in return. Yet you should not be waiting for your success – you should be working all the time to achieve it.
KO: Are you superstitious?
LLW: I think I am not.
KO: What does your creative process look like?
LLW: I am always “IN PROGRESS”. I create every day, so even if I do not manage to paint some part of a picture, I draw, project . I put down my thoughts. I write about the details. I read art newspapers and magazines from all over the world. I watch art albums. I love reading scientific articles from such branches like medicine , psychology and sociology. I love the world of flora and fauna. I am strongly connected with such things , later they are , as it were, mirrored in my pictures and drawings.
KO: Where do you create? Where is your studio?
LLW: I believe that creation starts in your head and heart. Later it is presented on paper or canvas. I have been living and creating in Warsaw for 11 years. Here I have my studio in my flat. I also have a lot of my paints, canvas , pictures not finished yet at the flat of my friend in the USA. So it is the time to go back there…
KO: How has your style evolved?
LLW: In the past I was painting very realistically. I was basing my painting on the technique and inspirations coming from the old masters of painting.
Today I am using my own ideas, yet I do not forget about the heritage from the past. I can be characterized as an artist using a very light, delicate line which is combined with big blots of colour , big spaces. I call my own style ” realistic expressionism”.
Buy Laura’s art here: https://www.saatchiart.com/account/artworks/389079