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How They See #3: Sebastian Talka about times we live in, colours and titles of his paintings

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Sebastian Talka lives and creates in Warsaw, Poland. I especially love complicated colours he is usi
 

How They See

July 18 · Issue #3 · View online
How They See will help you to meet artists from all over the globe and understand their perception of art. Published weekly on Saturday.

Sebastian Talka lives and creates in Warsaw, Poland. I especially love complicated colours he is using, that guide observer through the painting and providing crucial guidance to understand its meaning. Titles are the second substantial interlocutor in his art. Both those features combined are provoking ideas and are playing with the imagination of the one, who observes the artwork.
You can find and follow him on Instagram.

The thing that keeps me coming back to your Instagram profile and caught my attention at first, is how you name your paintings. To name a few: “Rozkład”, “Słowo”, “Marzenia”. Can you elaborate how are you coming up with such titles or what is the deeper idea behind them?
When I’m starting to paint, I imagine a person and stories of this individual, what kind of feelings that person had. Influenced by those emotions, I am telling my own story using colours and avoiding to reveal any specific details, just focusing purely on emotions. My titles reflect those individuals eg. “Rozdarty” (ed. “Torn”), “Poetka” (ed. “Poet”) i “Sąsiadka” “Neighbour”), I am asking people what words would describe them or I am coming up with such description on my own. Other titles, like: “Słowo” (ed. “Word), “Marzenia” (ed. “Dreams”) or “Noc” (ed. “Night”) are based on my experiences and emotions. Overall, the key is quite simple.
Sebastian Talka, Wirus  (ed. "Virus"),  2020
Sebastian Talka, Wirus (ed. "Virus"), 2020
You are also using vivid and deep, or I would risk - complicated colours. How do you choose your palette and work with them?
For me, colour is the most crucial element, it is telling the whole story I try to convey. I am constantly studying, how colours affect us and how we perceive them. I could spend an infinite amount of time elaborating about colours, for me they are a huge palette of feelings, and as feelings itself, they are not straightforward. It amazes me every time, that people are subconsciously reading colours in a way I have used them. Colour is the language that allows me to communicate with others because I miss words too often.
What is the hardest part of your creative process?
My technology, which I have developed and I am constantly improving, is a challenge itself. The paints have a different composition and behave differently depending on how they’re combined. Very often, I am being surprised, however, dealing with the physical matter is one of the vital elements of creating a painting.
I have found your old blog with paintings and compositions, the oldest works are dated in 2018. Well, I am wondering when you have actually started to involve yourself with painting and art?
The awareness that I want to paint, I want to devote my life to it, was born in 2018. Since then I dedicate myself to creative work, I know that this is my path. Many people paint “for the drawer”. I felt that I had to share what I do with others.
Sebastian Talka, Rozdarty (ed. "Torn"),  2020
Sebastian Talka, Rozdarty (ed. "Torn"), 2020
We are living in very interesting times. We have Coronavirus pandemic, lately, we have observed people fighting for their rights: Black Lives Matter in a US, LGBT & women in Poland. Do you think artists should engage or keep the distance and observe?
We are living in sad times. More and more people succumb to populism and do not respect nature. Sometimes I feel I would like to talk about it, but sometimes I feel I would like to run away. To escape into the world of sensitive and wise people. In this context, it is difficult for me to unequivocally say whether one should get involved or keep a distance. I want to talk about what is good in us, what connects people and does not hurt anyone.
Apart from politics and social movements, nowadays we also massive entertainment culture. Should artists follow pop culture and be up to date? What is your opinion regarding this matter?
Everyone should listen to the voice of the heart. Only being yourself and opening all your inner windows to the world will give us complete satisfaction. In life, you can follow what you want, with the flow or against it, however, you should always do it with respect to others and yourself.
On one of the photos, you have shared on Instagram, you’re sitting on an armchair with your dog reading a book. What was it? 
I have read one of the collections of stories by Miron Białoszewski, “Chamowo”. Short, funny and lightly sketched images from life, without adornment, capturing the moment with photographic accuracy. I like this approach to creativity.
Can you also share, what are your favourite book titles?
I appreciate the work of Dorota Masłowska - in a powerful, emphatic way she talks about Polish reality, warning of what people lose and make them fall into all sorts of traps.
Have you ever approached an artwork that has changed your life or transformed you as an artist in some way?
I was very hugely impressed by the paintings of Mark Rothko. His works have enormously penetrating effects, they are strongly moving and touching. His art feels very close to me.
Can you give some advice to any self-taught artist out there?
It is important to be yourself and do what you love. To be patient and have a love for what you are doing. Do not block yourself and do not take any shortcuts. Believe in yourself. Curiosity, observation and respect for the environment will definitely bring satisfaction.
What is your favourite colour?
I don’t have a favourite colour also I don’t want to have one. I realize that there are primary colours, however, for me, there is an infinite amount of them, just as there are infinitely many ways in which people perceive reality. All these shades, tones, tints and colours are equally important to me.
If you have enjoyed reading my interview with Sebastian Talka, I would like to kindly ask you to share it or leave a thumb up at the bottom of this page. In case you have any feedback, questions or you are an artist willing to show up in How They See, you can connect with me on Instagram or just hit a reply back button in case you are a subscriber reading this text as an e-mail.
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