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Peter Cvik

Peter Cvik

I absolutely love these recent works by Peter Cvik, which use materials from previous artworks as well as other found items like screens used on windows. There is a certain lighthearted archaeology to this process of reevaluating how previous creations can be returned to a state of material rather than finished piece, and rebuilt into something new. The textures are lovely, and the colors and patterns beautifully hinted at through folds and layers that remind us there's more to the story than we can always see.

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Hi Peter! First, I would like if you'd tell me more about yourself! You're currently in Bratislava, Slovaka; are you from there originally?

I was born in Bratislava in 1985. I live and work here. I try to travel as much as I can in order to see good exhibitions here in Europe. I am very lucky that I can say that this year I travel also for exhibiting my own works abroad. I need specific conditions for deep concentration on painting, so most of the year I stay here. I will participate in few artist residency projects next year so I will travel and stay abroad little bit more.

You're currently finishing up your graduate program; what has your art education been like, formally or informally? Any particularly influential mentors or teachers?

I am finishing my Doctoral studies. I consider my studies as very fresh and fluent research on the thesis of contemporary painting. I am studying under the supervision of Prof. Ivan Csudai. We have a very open, deep and long-term dialogue about painting. There is also Prof. Dezidér Tóth who opened my eyes in the conception of my work, which I appreciate a lot. 

If I should try to describe my training somehow, my answer would be: "It was a pleasure when I simply realised how much I love to stay in the studio for a long time on daily base. Because then I am in my studio, where I live well every day."

When did you first become interested in painting, or making art?

My very first contact with art was in my uncle's (Peter Sceranka) studio. He was a great sculptor and drawer. While spending my vacations at his place, I loved to spend my time in his studio. My very first art-craft works were done when I was 8 year old.  Without any intention of being an artist of course. I just loved the principle of playing with material, which I am using still today. 

You work in generally an abstracted style, but occasionally include figures and other motifs in your work. Can you describe your work, and what you seek to accomplish with it?

I describe my work as a multiplication of layers in painting or other materials. I honestly love layering, which is a connotation of the "internet era" we are living in. By this method I can use a lot of different approaches to my work. My series with figurative painting was a self-quest. It was based on an interpretation of Czech and Slovak modern painters. So I used figures as inhabitant of my landscapes as a mirror to our national culture as well.

What is your process like? How do you get started on a piece, and how long does one work typically take to finish?

First I think about each piece. It starts with choosing the size and atmosphere that I want to approach. Then I paint very abstract background and surroundings. Layer by layer I get to the final view of each piece.  I never know the final look of an image in advance. It grows itself on canvas. If I want to describe it, I can say that it is about focusing on subjects and objects. From the entirety to the details. Small pieces take me usually a day of work. For big scale canvases I am counting on one week for piece. 

What is your studio space like? 

I live in my studio. I built it myself. It took me one month of construction. I have two storage places for paintings. Two floors: downstairs I work, upstairs I live and sleep. Nowadays I am trying to get some sponsorship for a new studio for big-scale paintings (3x5 metres and the like) that I will work on next year, and use only for several months per year.

What is your favorite tool or object to use in the studio?

I love to work with big brushes. It depends on which layer I am working on in a certain painting. But I can say that I love my Lascaux big size brushes. For bigger pieces I am in love with using a cleaning mop and broom.

What is the biggest overall lesson you've learned so far, whether about making art or about pursuing art professionally?

I believe in a step-by-step career. I consider the career of painter as a long-term run. So I would say that the biggest lesson is to work candidly, with humbleness. 

Is there a moment that you consider your most successful, or where you felt you had accomplished something important?

My best achievement is the solo exhibition at the 5th International Biennale for Young Art in Moscow this summer, as well as my first exhibition in the Museum District in Krasnoyarsk (Russia,  www.mira1.ru ) where lithographies of René Magritte were exhibited two months before my show.

As personal achievement I honestly consider that I can already earn my living on art, so I can say that I have crossed my first professional border.

Are there any upcoming exhibitions or projects you're currently developing?

Right now I am preparing my first solo pop-up show for Berlin's project under Art Aia, with the curatorial supervision of Valerio Rossi based in Berlin. It will take only one day, so I am trying to do my best for this special event. 

Anything else you would like to add?

Well, I want to thank you once again for helping me to get to professional surroundings. It is great to have nice feedback from the professionals that consider art on daily basis. I appreciate it a lot.

Big thanks! Find more at works.io/peter-cvik!

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