Persona July, 6th 2023 by

World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 422 - Mirella von Chrupek

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World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 422 – Mirella von Chrupek
In the recent exhibition ‘Beautiful Aliens’ in the WM Gallery in Amsterdam I saw very strange apparitions. They seemed to have walked out of the latest edition of the movie ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. The photos were super weird, but also had something familiar: you recognized the movie star photos from the magazines in the fifties and sixties.

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The creator of these images, Mirella von Chrupek, from Warsaw, Poland, was happy to explain: “The movie star’s faces, glancing from the covers once harmonic and ideal, suddenly transform into portraits of beings from unknown universes resembling more nature-inspired creatures rather than humans. With every whirl more twisted, but almost always gentle.”
She admits that the line between an image of an impeccable movie star and artificial creation gets blurred. “With time the newborn characters, once seen as weird and eerie, are gradually becoming familiar. I like this special time spent with them. It is very personal and intimate.”

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Are these images typical of her artistic work?
Mirella: “I would say that my work has always been revolving around the subject of unreal beauty. In the past I used to work a lot with dolls, gradually expanding the realm of my interest towards toys and other pop culture phenomena. I explored cuteness and fairy-tale-like scenery a lot. I can be easily linked with fantasy however, it is not the fantasy realm itself that interests me, but rather the feeling that peculiar aesthetical conditions evoke.”

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Although rational in everyday life, she is pretty sentimental, she adds. “I believe we all are, no matter how tough we pretend to be.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, she has mainly worked with archival material. “First I experimented with vintage photos and created dreamy urban landscapes. At some point I decided to switch to human faces – their transmutations are the focus of my recent exhibition, which is now on view in Amsterdam.”

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Why is this theme important to her?

Mirella: „Beauty, as relative as the idea of it can be, is also one of the central subjects in life. A vehicle of procreation designed by nature that reached a cultural and political status in human life. I have been interested in exploring its limits within a specific, rather nostalgic frame. At the bottom of the ‘Beautiful Aliens’ project, surely lies my passion for classic movies. Especially, the ones from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s.”

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As much as being touched and seduced by them, she also finds them as an infinite source of inspiration. „I like spending time watching and rewatching my favourite films, paying close attention to the light, colours, frames, all the visual aspects and symbolic power hidden behind them.”

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Vintage magazines

Apart from time spent in front of a screen, she likes flipping through pages of vintage magazines, and books, searching dusty piles of old postcards in antique shops. „I am very fond of this specific texture of print of archival magazines. They teleport me to a better world, possibly because I associate it with my youth when everything seemed nicer and the possibilities were endless. They even smell like a lost paradise. Time spent at flea markets and watching and rewatching movies is like jumping into a time capsule and embarking on a quest to explore new worlds. Always entertaining and to some extent nostalgic.”

mirella von chrupek – 10

Does Mirella have a key work?

She has, and they are many. „Up till now, it has always been the recent one and the one to come.”

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How long is Mirella an artist?

She has been working in the field of visual arts for over two decades. „I am a self-made artist. I graduated in linguistics and then simply followed my instinct. I do what I like most and what I am best at: I am a photographer, diorama designer, and collector. Probably my most successful and popular project was Gablotka (2014-17), a micro-art gallery project in the center of Warsaw that served as an exhibition space where over three years I showcased a variety of dioramas.”

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Finally: what is her artistic philosophy?

Mirella: „I like to create imaginary landscapes and characters, mixing elements of fantasy and reality. It gives me a priceless feeling of freedom that I would not change for anything else.”

Images: 1 – 9 artworks, 14) portrait of the artist by Pete Purnell

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