Inside the Studio

Tomasz Cichowski

What are the major themes you pursue in your work?

My paintings essentially fall into two abstract fields. Both are explorations of colour, texture, mark-making, and painting matter. One of them is more organized–the main effort is concentrated on colour-choosing and adapting it to its “biological” form. The process seems precisely designed from the start point, however there is a lot of space for unplanned decisions.

The other direction that my artistic practice takes is much more spontaneous. Gesture, trace, feeling, mood, and touch become much more important. These two tracks of painting are competing or complementing each other, and oftentimes show predominance of one over the other. This can result in both inspiring and difficult situations, as the process of painting can always produce unique effects.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

1. Always stay honest and express yourself in your art practice.
2. Never give up! Even if you find that something had been done before, follow point 1 – you have a 100% chance of doing it in your own way!

Prefer to work with music or in silence?

Both. It depends on the mood, day, and the stage of the work I’m currently working on.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?

I’d like a work from Roman Opalka’s series, “Detail.”

Who are your favorite writers?

Paul Auster, Rudolf Arnheim, Roland Barthes, and Susan Sontag.