Bratislava Kunst

Interview. Denisa Slavkovská

During her studies, she undertook internships at various studios, each with a distinct primary medium and focus. A significant milestone in her journey was her internship at the Academy of Arts in Krakow, where her painting expression emerged as the predominant theme in her artistic work. She successfully completed her master's degree at the painting faculty of VŠVU in Bratislava in 2020 and now operates her own studio in Bratislava.
Interview. Denisa Slavkovská
In the studio, photo by Milan Strapko

Your primary medium is painting, but you also experiment with other forms such as printmaking, objects, and installations. How do these diverse media and techniques influence your artistic process?
As mentioned in the introduction, I completed internships at various media studios. I think it influenced me quite a bit in the way I think about painting: process as in graphics, motif as in sculpture, and exhibition as in installation. I see the painting itself as research, both in terms of the possibility of the subject but also of the color itself and experimenting with the addition of various reacting components.

What are the themes you explore in your work? Could you tell us more about how these themes are reflected in your work?
The starting point in my work is the body and corporeality, which I’m continuously researching. From mental states, through the bodily experience of internal organs, to the examination of the shape and color of the body as an expressive element, The biomorphic matter in the paintings comes to life in almost surreal compositions and dimensions, and it whispers its personal story. The latest series of paintings naturally brings me to the last topmost, but not superficial, layer, and therefore to the objects that surround the body.

Some of them cover the body, shape it, or change its expression, and consciously or subconsciously communicate their own identity or our identity.

Can you describe your studio and where you are currently working?
My studio is located in the industrial environment of the complex of buildings of the welding institute. You approach it through a path lined with rusty pipes, and the smell of metal mixes with the smell of chocolate from a nearby factory. I have my own studio, and it’s like my world. The floor, originally painted white and covered by spots, reflects the color of my current paintings. During the recent cleaning, I discovered that I have an awful lot of non-painting strange items. Some of them are pretty funny.

I think that even at first glance, it is clear that it is a painting studio thanks to the extensive deposit of paintings and countless holes in the wall due to nails.

Do you have a special hobby for relaxation? What activities do you enjoy that are unrelated to art?
I have to admit that this question is the most difficult for me, and it dawns on me that I need to do more sports and go to nature. I love cross-country skiing, and earlier I did an air acrobatic. My hometown is in the High Tatras mountains, and my stepfather is from Finland, so I am naturally inclined towards winter sports. However, the truth is that lately, all my activities revolve around art, whether it’s a vacation (gallery visits) or a meeting with friends.

Denisa Slavkovská
ceramic vases, photo by Jakub Čajko

How do you perceive the relationship between your art and the viewer?
I think that every art, like a living being, finds its supporters and opponents. I don’t paint so that people like my paintings as much as possible or that they are easy to sell. I like to listen to constructive criticism, and what my work evokes in the viewer is always interesting to me. After that, when I am alone in the studio for hours, I reevaluate every reaction to my work. However, I am very careful, since I am no longer a student, that it has to be me who says the last word in deciding what my work will look like.

What are the must-see attractions or places I shouldn’t miss during my visit to Bratislava?
I would definitely recommend the exhibition at the DOT. Contemporary Art Gallery of my boyfriend, Ján Vasilko, who is a great support and inspiration for me. From 9.11 to 9.12. It is also possible to visit our common exhibition, Daydream, in the Artisan Gallery. Currently, I have an exhibition with my former classmate Lucia Žitnayová in the Old Town of Bratislava at Gallery Zichy. I would also definitely mention Modra as a pleasant escape from the busy city a few kilometers from Bratislava to the Blu Gallery, which is definitely worth a visit. I’d love to mention many other awesome gallery projects, but the list would probably be too long.

Denisa Slavkovská –