Victoria Dael’s work provides us with an example of how the culture and art of different eras are reinterpreted and preserved for generations. History is undergoing changes, and today's world is difficult to compare with the world of antiquity, the Renaissance, or the beginning of the twentieth century. But this is only a superficial sensation distorted by everyday life. Having adjusted our view on the perception of the deep foundations of our being, we will understand that there is something permanent, not subject to time, even if on the surface we see only ancient fragments and ruins. But they can tell us all the more expressively and, oddly enough, more completely, about the whole, native and familiar world, which only lurks behind time, while modern passions are raging on stage. In Victoria’s paintings, we touch this world with solid, eternal foundations. We all come from there. And even if we do not understand the history of art and do not know to which era the paintings and sculptures referenced by the artist belong, this does not detract from the impression that her works have on us.
I am in engaged in traditional art, about which all are chanting in unison ‘extinction’. For the first time in its whole history of existence, painting finds itself in completely new conditions of survival. However, it has the experience of two millennia, and demands on it then were incomparably higher. Painting can be enjoyed by each individual without an interpreter. Whoever has feelings will find their way. I am deeply convinced that the traditional language of art, which existed for hundreds of years before us, possesses capabilities and a wealth of expression which are not inferior to verbal forms.
The artistic form is a separate question. Today it is not sufficient for painting to invent a relevant story; it must also invent the plastic movement of its execution. My canvas is a surface for slow consideration.
If you take part in the creative process, you cannot refrain from being a philosopher, from questioning yourself. Art is a way of exploring relationships. I explore relationships with society, with myself, with art itself. The contemporary artist performs self-analysis, which is now an integral part of the creative process. The model whereby an artist sits in an attic or a basement and invents something is very archaic. Today the self-identification of the artist takes place publicly.
In these notes, I formulate answers to questions which I confront ever more often in the process of the creation of works and in communication with audiences. Questions about painting and its role in contemporary art, about the main subject of creation, about the fate of the artist in their world. In any case, it’s completely clear that the aim of any art is to explain oneself and one’s surroundings, to explain for what one lives, and the point of one’s existence.
During my years of studying, and also later, I worked with live models, as did artists throughout the centuries. The creator is located in one physical space with the live personified subject, in one energetic field, in which inescapably arise a multitude of visible and invisible connections. They may be a help or a hindrance to work. Nowadays, the basis of my improvisation is paintings and sculptures – witnesses of that space which were forever hidden from us under the thickness of time. These two experiences allow me to affirm not only completely various methods of work, but also various mental burdens of consciousness. Firstly, moving from a specific personified subject to, possibly, a future true oblivion; secondly, from the absolutely forgotten to its resurrection in a single space of art.
Once artists painted for the Vatican and for kings, and did not focus on anything else. Nobody denied or doubted their paintings or drawings. I do not engage in art, but in clarifying my personal relationships with culture. An artist must express themselves, and find their ‘I’. This is a doctrine of many centuries, but particularly a 20th Century one. The honest business of the artist is to offer their images and versions of survival at the level of their intuition. Life in art is very long, longer than human life.
Every time, I open a secret door into this speechless world of previous epochs, I meet eyes trained on me. In them is the expression of a strange expectation and reproach that excite and disturb me. In a focused and attentive gaze, I feel a call to dialogue.
And I accept the challenge and, with the artistic media available to me, offer them a new life and a new identity.