I haven’t always been an artist. I studied Horticultural Engineering and Phytosanitary in University of Corvinus in Budapest and pursued a successful career as a plant buyer for nearly 10 years.I worked on the DNA based breeding of strawberries, I was a member of the first Hungarian Phalaenopsis in vitro Laboratory Team traveling for business all over Europe. Then, the opportunity to make a lifestyle change found me. Although I had always dreamed of becoming a painter, I never had the courage to give up a successful and lucrative career. When I met my husband and moved to Italy and began learning art, attended several courses about painting techniques, after about 2 years I finally decided to commit to becoming a full-time artist. I learned and practiced tirelessly, and began to sculpt my career as an artist.
Im interested in painting on a variety of different surfaces, fascinated and influenced by surrealism, metaphysical and pop art, both real and imagined forms the basis of most of my work.
I create a world of colours and use storytelling focuses on contemporary topics, highlighting both positive and negative aspects of our time.I create intricate works that blur fact and fiction while always introducing a sense of humour to give a powerful effect. I also play multiple characters in this drama where I often illustrate myself as small characters or animals. Sometimes, thoughts or some text scares the surface of the canvas but are never entirely readable.
A mom of two children, memories from my daily life, integration in a foreign country, little stories from my garden, my original study are my biggest sources of inspiration."
Adriana Marques Meets Edina Gulyas
Edina's works are an explosion of energy, intrigue and passion. In an instant, they communicate big ideas and big moments from both world histories and personal histories, with mysterious titles to allude to invented narratives. Rise Art Insider Adriana Marques ceased the chance to meet with one of her favourite artists to discuss her journey to becoming a professional painter, and her latest endeavours to marry the landscape with art. See into her botanical haven of a studio and be transported to distant, dreamlike lands by her ethereal paintings.
You haven’t always been an artist, can you tell us a little bit about your previous career as horticultural engineer?
For nearly 10 years I worked in plant cultivation, specifically in a commercial and marketing capacity. I had a successful career as a plant buyer, as well as being a member of the Haeberli Obst und Beeren Swiss company, where I worked on the DNA based breeding of strawberries. I was a member of the first hungarian Phalaenopsis in vitro laboratory team, travelling and working in Spain, in the Netherlands and in Germany for various production companies, who took part in stock market sales.
What made you decide to change lifestyles and pursue a career in art?
The opportunity simply found me. Although I had always dreamed of becoming a painter, I never felt that I could make the drastic decision to change my profession. When I met my husband and moved to Italy, to begin with I was searching for a job in my field, but after meeting my husband’s sister Angela Spano, who was already a great Italian artist, I began to paint in her studio.
To cover my expenses I would sell small cityscape collage paintings for local tourists. It was nice and easy, but I was always aware that to become a professional artist, I needed to learn and develop a lot more. After about 2 years I finally decided to commit to this way of life. I learned and practiced a lot, and began to sculpt my artistic career.
What are your main artistic influences? I know you are fascinated by surrealism and Pop Art – are there any artists or artworks in particular that have guided you?
I am drawn to the works of Japanese painters, such as Tomoko Nagai and Makiko Kudo. I love their use of colour and detail, and this has become one of the most important influences in my own art. At the same time, I like the semi-abstract works of Marcel Eichner and Eddie Martinez, and lately I am very interested in retroperspective art. I combine all of these genres and influences within my own practice to create a new take.
What was the first thing you painted and why?
My first artistic painting was based on Schiele style. It was a series of a self portraits - at that time I was highly interested in expressionism.
Tell us about your studio in Italy? I imagine you are surrounded by a lot of plants!
Yes, that's true! My studio is a huge haven in a very nice green area. It’s near to the sea, surrounded by many plants and birds in Sardinia.
Can you also tell us about the titles for your paintings?
The titles I choose often refer to something very specific in each painting, such as ‘A Cat is Guarding the House’. Sometimes they allude to something bigger, like ‘Darwin’s Room’.
What comes first – the title or the painting?
Choosing a good title is always difficult. When I project the painting I rarely or never think about the title, but when it is nearly half completed, I decide upon the final scene and begin to think about it. Sometimes when I discover an intriguing title I will move the painting in that direction. I’m often looking for some actual political theme, or simply something funny, but usually I don’t begin my paintings with a title in mind.
What projects are you working on at the moment? Can you tell us a bit about your new Melograno Project and why you started it?
The combination of my past, as well as my original studies of Agricultural Engineering are always reflected in my paintings, but I eventually linked the two themes in 2014 when I launched my most ambitious art project, which I have named ‘The Melograno Project’.
My father in law had an empty farm, and a building he intended to be refurbished ended up becoming the studio I use to this day. Inspired by the Richard Shapiro Houses and Gardens, 3 years ago I decided to transform the space, creating a 2500sm private garden where the beauty of nature and art could meet.
Parallel to my painting practice, I work on the landscape every day, pruning and planting. The project is still in the early stages, but I’m looking forward to its official debut.
What do you love, and hate, about being an artist?
I love the inexhaustible possibilities of art. It’s so inspiring to explore these possibilities; being an artist is never tedious, and it is never over. I hate it because in the same way, it can be like a prison for the mind. I never can let it go, my mind's always racing, thinking about my next work. Ultimately, I love how I find myself in air through art.
Cultivate and Crafted Works of Edina Gulyás
Chief curator Rebecca Wilson and the Saatchi Art team have been chosen to be featured as the Inside the Studio
What are the major themes you pursue in your work?
The combination of my past, as well as my original studies of Horticultural Engineering, are always reflected in my paintings. My studio is a huge haven in a very nice green area. It’s near the sea, surrounded by many plants and birds on Sardinia. About four years ago I decided to transform the space, creating a 2,500 ft small private garden where the beauty of nature and art could meet. Parallel to my painting practice, I work on the landscape every day, pruning and planting. I often paint gardens, and through my practice I admire nature’s beauty, or I paint a garden where I imagine a story.
How did you first get interested in your medium, and what draws you to it specifically?
I use oil and acrylic paints. I prefer strong, living colors in my paintings. I think after acrylic has dried, it is no longer so brights, so I use oil to compensate for this. I prefer to prepare collage paintings too; this medium is very helpful to create abstract scenes, and the painting becomes more rustic.
How has your style and practice changed over the years?
A few years ago for a short period I painted realistic figurative paintings, but I grew tired of this and I began instead to paint expressive self portraits, cityscapes, and landscapes. Today I try to use the combination of these studies in order to create my semi-abstract style.
Can you walk us through your process? Do you begin with a sketch, or do you just jump in? How long do you spend on one work? How do you know when it is finished?
I spend a lot of time on the preparation and something less time to get it ready. It is easier to begin if actually something has happened. I know I will need a base such as a garden or a house and a scene with the animal or with neighbors. If I have no theme, I spend days looking for some inspiration. Mostly I use one of my previous paintings and I prepare some hand-painted sketches, and I take photos and use Photoshop to cut details or change colors. I change colors, and adjust my sketches, and then I begin to apply it on the canvas. Sometimes I work quite quickly and spontaneously, and the work comes out exactly as I imagined it to be; other times i need to go in and make changes before the work is complete.
As for how I know when a work is finished?
That is difficult to answer. Sometimes when the painting is near me for a long time then I will go back in and change something. I suppose I could say that the painting is finished after I sell it!
If you couldn’t be an artist, what would you do?
I haven’t always been an artist. I studied Horticultural Engineering and Phytosanitary at the University in Budapest, and pursued a successful career as a plant buyer for nearly 10 years. Although I had always dreamed of becoming a painter, it wasn’t until I met my husband and moved to Italy that I began painting. If I couldn’t be an artist, then I would be a horticultural engineer.
Who are some of your favorite artists, and why?
I am drawn to the works of some artists such as Tomoko Nagai, Makiko Kudo, Jean Dubbuffet, Lin de Busk, Magnus Plessen, and Tal R. I love their creativity, and their works are very influential on my practice.
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WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2018