5 Questions with Slovakian artist, Slavomir Zombek

Posted in In the Studio by Lucia Fischer on 13th October 2014

Slavomir Zombek is a Slovakian artist, who lives and works in the town Levoca. He works with painting, drawing, mixed media, graphic art and architecture. Through his works, he communicates not the reality, but the feelings that give him the sense of reality. As he considers his own identity as a little space, he strives to achieve the maximum effect by using the minimum means of expression.

 

Slavomir Zombek

1. HOW DID YOU DEVELOP YOUR SIGNATURE MINIMALIST STYLE?
One can say that it happened spontaneously in response to the overcrowding of our lives and conservative character of my home town as well... and perhaps as the basic desire to express "our complexity". I think when it comes to my work there are two quotes one must keep in mind,

"Life is actually quite simple and complicated only by the intricacies we insist on."
- Confucius
"Simplicity is the infinite perfection. Perfection is infinite simplicity."
- Leonardo da Vinci

DUAL POLARITY OF THE EXISTENCE N°01

Slavomir Zombek

2. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WORK?
Art for me is not decoration for a blank space, but an expression of the space itself.
 Usually it differs from piece to piece, but generally I describe it like this. I do not wish to create an objective imitation of reality, but rather reveal the feelings that reality grants us. By form and content, reduction is the method; removing and denying every expendable detail, which complicates the being and obstructs us to see. 

Minimal means of expression, minimal space - but maximal expression. A symbiosis of content, form and technical expression of work. Not contemporary fashion and attempting shock, but certain silence, truth and inertia.
 
My view of art is significantly influenced by my architectural studies and active architectural practice: composition, structure, raster, rhythm, repetition, geometry, order, system, variations, alternatives, rules, limits, reduction. And from every idea I try to extract what is possible; all its potential shapes and expressions - I do not mean content (that is more or less fixed in every theme), but form: turn, invert, edit "colour" scheme, disrupt structure, modify raster, ignore the system purposely, add, reduce. The content stays, but the meaning is revealed and deepened.

Village Pavñany

3. DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIFIC ROUTINES OR HABITS NECESSARY IN THE CREATION OF YOUR WORK?
I have an appreciation for structure and order, as well as some principles. However, when I am creating art I am not so strict. I work constantly. When I get the chance I like to work in a studio late into the night. It is a magical time, a time when you get to open the windows, windows full of darkness, and you see the city. The night city with eyes of neon. The city full of sleeping people and that night silence. Often this work stops at dawn. I do not like loneliness in principle, but while I work I need (or even request) that feeling of uncertain soft and pleasant solitude, the calmness and the light of a table lamp. Winter and her early evenings, and conversely warm nights in May are ideal for me.

RHYTHM, COLOUR AND FRAGRANCE OF SILENCE N°04

Slavomir Zombek

4. WHO ARE SOME OF THE ARTISTS YOU ADMIRE THE MOST, AND WOULD YOU SAY THEY PLAY A ROLE IN THE CREATION OF YOUR OWN WORK?
I like the complexity of Leonardo da Vinci, the silence of Morandi`s work, the mystery of Magritte, Delvaux and his women, the geometry and composition of the Russian constructivists, de Chirico and his space, Boštík`s meditation, the honesty of Van Gogh. I can't to tell who I admire the most or if they even influence me, for each can work, can, in a particular moment enrich us in what we need, give us what we are looking for, or just help us remember something that we have already long lost.

THE HAMLET IN CHERRY GROVE N°02
Slavomir Zombeck

5. IF YOU HAD TO GIVE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE TO STUDENTS JUST GRADUATING ART SCHOOL, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I do not feel myself to be worthy in giving advice, but for today, I'll try. These are some advices given to me, or that I've given myself over time that I've kept.

- Listen carefully to people in your neighborhood (family, friends, teachers, classmates, etc.), to try to understand them and know to choose what can be beneficial.
 
- Try to find out what I want and what is essential
 
- Go resolutely for my goals, but to remain fully human at the same time
 
- Any work has three components – content, form and craft, their ratio is, however, variable and individual. However, I don't mind at all, if one of the components is missing. 
 
And finally, something that worked for me and what I'm trying to keep :
 
My inspiration is ordinary life. Nothing more and nothing less. If you're not living with your eyes and ears shut, and if you often have an open soul, then it doesn't take a lot: a feeling, or hearing a word - recognizing the significance of an event, the significance of banality and mundane things which you can suddenly see differently; the rhythm and calmness of rain, the sound of being, meeting, or the smell of an unknown woman... Paradoxically, when I have a lot of time and time is passing slowly, I have few ideas to work on. But as time runs out, the inspiration starts flowing; I see it wherever I look, wherever I am.

NIGHTLY STREET N°03
Slavomir Zombek

 
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