Tell us about yourself, how did you become an artist?
I decided to study art because I did not find any sensitivity in the corporate world of that time. I missed creativity, self-determination, and engagement with all the relevant topics in society, in social, and political life. At that time I was already very curious about the complexities of the world and its correlations – after some wonderful visits in art and science museums I was sure my curiosity would be satisfied in art.
What is your background? and how did it inform the focus of your creative exploration or the medium you're currently working with?
I grew up in an almost untouched, still intact landscape of eastern Poland, which shaped my deep love and respect for nature. That is why today, as an adult, I passionately elaborate around natural phenomena as well as physical forces on earth and above.
What ideas interested you in the beginning of your practice, which ideas have you continued to explore, and where have they led you?
At the beginning my art referred to human footprints of all sizes and impact. For example I painted a series of skeleton architectural leftovers ranging from Lunapark in Prypriat near Chernobyl to US amusement parks after the hurricane Katrina – all abandoned by mankind giving space and new opportunities for nature and biotopes.
I articulated allegories to questions of our times and thus created a tension between crisis and hope.
As I still do today.
Who were and are the biggest sources of your inspiration?
Ever since I adore the scientist Nikola Tesla.
In comparison to America, unfortunately he isn’t that well known in Europe.
For me Tesla is a genius, but he was born in the wrong century, since his ideas of omnipresent energy were too far in the future. He died impoverished and alone in a hotel room in New York.
In arts I am a huge fan of Ólafur Ellíasson.
Ellíasson builds a convincing bridge between incredibly aesthetic, timeless art and urgent climate policy relevance. His intelligent works are both gentle and radical. In addition to visual pleasure his works trigger my own creative desire. For me they are pure sparks.
Where do you find inspiration?
International scholarships and residencies allow me to experience extraordinary phenomena beyond my German horizon. In Texas I witnessed thunderstorms with violet flashes in the desert, in Iceland I saw rainbows in countless waterfalls and on Mallorca stars and planets on a clear night sky without any light pollution. These direct experiences of nature and processes have a big impact on me and my art. First I have to sense what my art speaks.
Is there are a single work, project, or series that is pivotal in your current trajectory?
Yes, there are some milestone works in my path until today as my work PETRICHOR from 2019. It unifies fascinating phenomena and precarious developments of our environment whose amalgamation became the overall topic of my work.
It shows a heavy almost violent rain and while painting it, I remembered the wonderful special smell of summer rain on parched soil after days of heat (ie the definition of Petrichor) eg during my early youth in rural Poland and I named the work according to these almost poetic memories in my mind.
In PETRICHOR as in every other artwork I try to touch the viewer as deeply as I was touched when I originally experienced those natural phenomena.
When art achieves to arise emotions the recipient becomes part of it. A great moment.
About the Artist
Based in Düsseldorf, Germany
Angelika J. Trojnarski, born 1979 in Mragowo, Poland, studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (Class of Andreas Gursky, afore Jörg Immendorff and Markus Lüpertz).
She lives and works in Düsseldorf.
In 2020 she participated in the CCA Residency on Mallorca and was shortlisted for the Landsberg-Preis at Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf and for the Kallmann-Preis at Kallmann-Museum Ismaning. In the same year she received a travel grant by Ministry of Culture and Science of the German State of NRW.
In 2018 she was an artist in residence at 100 West Corsicana in Texas and also at SÍM in Reykjavik.