Inside Michelle Jezierski’s Kreuzberg studio are two distinct areas. Along one wall sits a table, its surface hidden by a small mountain of half-empty paint tubes and a collection of jars holding used paintbrushes. Nearby are the half-finished results of two paintings she’s working on for a group exhibition which opened in December at the Kunsthaus Taunusstein. The remaining area is reserved for coloured paper, photographs and other collage-focused materials. This clear separation in workspace is not dissimilar to the artist’s actual artistic practice, which focuses on layering angles to transform explicit imagery into something more abstract.
“I use landscape as a starting point, because it provides the viewer with something to relate to” – Michelle Jezierski
Though it isn’t entirely evident upon first glance, at the heart of each painting is a photographic reference point. “I work from photography,” says Jezierski. “Most of the time I use my camera instead of a sketchbook, but I also borrow images from other photographers as well.” On a small wall separate from her works-in-progress hangs a collection of images taken by the artist. Most depict unusual patterns in nature, and when placed alongside her finished works, their influence is finally clear. “I use landscape as a starting point, because it provides the viewer with something to relate to.” This grounded approach serves as a stepping stone, allowing for the more intangible elements of geometry to shine through. Jezierski’s fascination with spatiality stems from her formal education at the Universität der Kunste. There, British sculptor Tony Cragg trained the young artist, and she began to apply 3D concepts to 2D artworks. Under his guidance, she discovered an interest in space that continues to fuel her work today.
When faced with the artist’s works, it is easy to connect her large-scale paintings to science fiction, as both deal with abstract vastness while maintaining reality through a specific location. “I actually participated in the science fiction show “Things to Come” earlier this year at the Petach Tikva Museum of Art in Israel,” she says. “I’m not really into the genre but I’m into monumental spaces and the huge vastness they portray. So I can understand how people see similar motifs in my work.” Rather than focusing on typical sci-fi subjects such as robots and aliens, Jezierski’s paintings centre on her relationship between the outer world and her own inner universe. Another comparison with scifi lies in the ambiguity that her work presents. “Ambivalence is a wonderful thing because it’s so interchangeable.” Preferring not to reveal too much about her art, Jezierski likes her audience to arrive at their own interpretations of her objects. “A good artwork functions in the way looking at the ocean does – it changes according to one’s inner state or the different times of day.”
Though most of her work relies on a multitude of oppositions, Jezierski’s creative process functions by focusing on one thing at a time. She never works on two paintings at once, and always uses one specific colour as the starting point to create atmosphere. “In music you have one note or one chord that you build from, and my artistic process is a lot like that.” Save for a few exceptions, Jezierski paints primarily on portrait-style canvases. For her, this format allows for a better display of the intersection between the sky and the Earth. The artist then layers patterns over these landscapes to create the finished piece.
An upbeat tune plays faintly throughout her studio, with Jezierski revealing how her love for hip-hop sometimes gets in the way of productivity. “I typically put on something electronic while I work;, nothing too intense, though. I like listening to hip-hop music but I can’t work when it’s playing because I’d dance too much.”
Always striving for personal growth, Jezierski is dedicated to improving her already well-honed approach even more. “I think I’ve become a lot more clear in my intentions within the past year. I’m learning to zone anything out that’s unimportant or superfluous.” Her recent works are evidence of this intent, and her non-stop schedule is a testament to her committed attitude. In addition to her participation in the group show at Kunsthaus Taunusstein, she is also preparing for another group show with the VDA slated for early this year.
A Kendrick Lamar song plays from the speakers as Jezierski says goodbye, perhaps signalling that it’s time for the artist to take a break from all that hard work and clear her mind with a dance.
We are pleased to announce that you can now collect Michelle’s work as seen below on Sleek Art.
Michelle Jezierski’s work is on display as part of the group exhibition “Energy Fields” in Kunsthaus Tanusstein until 30 May 2017, as well as in “SMALL – an exploration of miniature” at Sexauer Gallery, Berlin, from 20 January 2017
Taken from SLEEK 52