World Fine Art Professionals and their Key- Pieces, 18 - Maša Gala

Maša Gala is an emerging artist from Ljubljana, Slovenia. Her works of art are characterised by continuous experimenting with various materials. By using building materials and different painting techniques she tries to surpass their classical use and create completely new application value for them.

Maša Gala mixes different forms of visual art. There is painting, graphics and video and there is also photography. These were also her subjects at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana. Maša Gala: ‘It always starts with a concept. What do I want to communicate? When that’s clear I start building my work in one or more mediums that are able to bear the concept and communicate it in the most effective way.’

Bringing about an experience

Her paintings are abstract. She likes to experiment with various materials. She combines her coloured drawings with photos, old maps, newspaper and Internet articles. To this she adds pigments in acrylic or oil pastels. And many times she uses also construction nets, wall paints, bitumen primer, various varnishes, finishes and sprays.  

Central themes in Gala’s work are Space, Memory and Time. Space includes the space which surrounds a person, the space of an artwork which can also be virtual and the space between the viewer and the work.

‘I believe the viewer is curious and intelligent enough to be able to construct his or her own story. The unconscious peripheral perception of a viewer transforms the image into a spatial and body experience. What I am interested to bring about is the experience, rather than the information. Constantly I question myself how we envisage space, what draws our attention and how we regard things around us.’

One layer over the other

In this respect she is focused in exploring different perspectives. ‘On a screen you can see at the same time many images. New images come in, single images multiply, images start to make interconnections. For the viewer this is every time new information. But not all new information is meaningful, sometime you can certainly say that it is ‘non-information’.’

In her painting she makes use of filled-in space, architecture photographs and images from the media such as Internet, Facebook and other public media. She layers one over the other similar to how a computer program is made up, with algorithms. But unlike here she uses combinations of drawing, painting and collage / decollage.  ‘In doing so I add the subjective artistic gesture, my interpretation.’

The viewer is free to make his or her interpretation. ‘I believe in open-coding of the works. I do not impose my vision, as the media do.’

Digital and analogous image

The paintings from the cycle “Spaces” she considers as  the key piece in het oeuvre. These paintings received the National Prešeren Award for painting.  Curator Tatjana Pregl Kobe wrote that this series empathised with the viewer. Gala: ‘That was just right. In my work I want to trigger the viewer and through this bring about an interaction between work of art, viewer and artist.’

She is working on a new cycle, “Memory Lane”. In this cycle she goes a step further in communicating the concept. ‘The concept of pixels, nets and digitality is more pronounced. It is interwoven with organic, subjective painting – gesture and form. The paintings show a pronounced contrast between real and virtual experience. Between digital and analogous image.’

Group projects

Gala thinks that is very important for an artist to show and exhibit his or her works in order to get feedback from the public. ‘I have been exhibiting since 2005. The most important experience are my first solo show in Ljubljana, titled “Times” and international group exhibitions in Italy, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic.’

Living and working full time as an artist is for her a challenging and intriguing experience. ‘I love what I do and I am sure I will be working in the fields of art all my life. Besides my studio practice I also engage in many projects with other artists. I like this as much as working on myself. This variety makes my life interesting.’

Her main goal is to work internationally. Gala: ‘I believe the future is in connecting different cultures. I try to make my work matter on the international level.’

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