With my playful mixes I want to offer people a different perspective on the things they see, to draw them out of the grey everyday.
Olga Gál is originally from the Transylvanian region of Romania. This is where her main inspirations originate: her love for animals and for the peace of the countryside. Her mixed-media paintings strike a balance between art and illustration. With an incredible eye for detail and an adventurous colour palette, she brings to life hybrid creatures that embody a sense of playfulness and joy.
INTERVIEW WITH THE ARTIST
Q. Did you always want to become an artist?
A. I originally wanted to be a gymnast or a chocolatier.
Q. How do your home country and current living environment find their way into your work? Is there a stark difference between the two?
A. At the moment, both are in absolute harmony. Living away from busy places I have the time to stop, listen to the birds, see the ladybirds and be a wanderer. I always was one, even as child, it took me an hour to get to school because I stopped at every trembling leaf. Where I live, it is so silent that the foxes walk around the streets in broad daylight. Silence is gold, it inspires me - peace and boredom make me very creative.
In the summertime, I get lost in my wild flower bed in the garden with all the butterflies. This is the place where I recharge. Who knows where future will take me, it might be the city with its bright lights, but one thing is for sure, I'll always be looking up to the sky.
Q. Your subjects are mostly animals, why did you choose them as the procrastinators of your work?
A. Animals started to move into my work with a love for horse faces, then I adopted my first dog and all evolved from there. Every animal has a unique character, no two noses are the same. Their behaviour is individual so they are the perfect beings to express my inner world.
Q. Each of your works seem to encapsulate a story. Is there, in fact, a narrative aspect to your pieces?
A. I never have plan a story, I start with one 'beast' and this instinctively demands the next animal to move in, and then suddenly, a story is born. Once I finish a drawing it's as if I just watched a good film and I feel entirely immersed! Almost involuntarily, I draw and colour my days - my mood, the things I see and hear - are just being played out in animal form on paper.
Q. Your work has a strong illustrative character to it, where do you think the boundary lies between illustration and art and do you think it is even necessary or desirable to make this distinction?
A. Illustration in its simplicity is a story teller, maybe there is fine line between the two, possibly that is why I love fine lines. Art is when an untold story is put on paper and you have to read between the lines.
Q. There is a certain playfulness and joy to your works, is this reflective of you as a person?
A. If we stop being playful we have grown old. Having said that, old in its true sense is wisdom, but we can still play. Joy and a sense of humour are very important; if you can laugh on the hard days you are always a winner!
Q. Your subjects often overlap and merge into one another, animal into animal or human into animal. What would you like to achieve with this visual assimilation?
A. If you look in the prophecies of the old testament and the book of Revelation you will find some scary beasts merged together, each animal representing the character of a person. You can also find half animal half human hybrids in the ancient Egyptian or Greek mythology, as well as the medieval bestiaries.
My hybrids are not meant to be scary. For example, using just the one eye for two beings in its simple form is just representative of being able to see through the eyes of the other. With my playful mixes I want to offer people a different perspective on the things they see, to draw them out of the grey everyday. I try to convert the ordinary into the extraordinary. What I create is part of me, if you see the artwork you know the artist.