Cape Town-based painter and sculptor Andrzej Urbanski, a Polish native who grew up in Germany, names most of his artworks according to the number of colours and shapes they depict: "So I would say zero one, 84 (colours)/76 (shapes)/15 (for 2015)". He spoke to us about how he works as he prepares for an upcoming exhibition of his paintings at Salon91:
It’s very digital-oriented abstract painting. The concept is to trick someone’s perception. It’s a digital piece which looks 3D but it’s completely 2D made. And it’s a handmade piece which looks like a computer printer has done it. But I also allow human flaws or mistakes. At some point you forget that you’re human when you do this kind of work. You just want to be better than a machine.
I really like the tricking part.
I had children standing in front of one of the 2D pieces asking their mother if it was a big iPad that they could touch.
Maybe they didn’t have spraypaint a hundred years ago but someone would do the first steps for an artwork a hundred years ago the same way I do it. They would sit down, make a sketch on the canvas, think what kind of colours am I going to use...
I’m very, very influenced by colour and movement and shapes and I really like geometry. And coming from graphic design we were trained how people read. And the arranging of the artwork on the canvas was also very much what I learned – how do I place it? Do I place it or do I set it off from the centre on purpose?
I want to have my own signature in my pieces so people recognise them. I want them to see my own language.
“Mindgame”, an exhibition of abstract paintings and sculpture by Andrzej Urbanski, is on at Salon91 from 18 March – 18 April 2015.
Watch a short film about the artist by Cape Town filmmaker Rowan Pybus.