She might have already displayed her work around the world, including in a group show last month in Art Basel, but artist Agnieszka Pestka is still aspiring to be an internationally recognized talent.
Agnieszka, who is originally from Poland, has happily settled in New York City since moving to the Big Apple two years ago, but her work still reflects the 14 countries she has lived in over the years, including Australia, London, Spain, Amsterdam, Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Japan. “All of my journeys, and what I’ve see and learned, have inspired my work. I want to do this for the rest of my life, and so I just have to be connected to New York. I travel between Miami and New York and a bit to California. Miami is a big market, and I definitely plan on collaborating with a gallery in Tokyo, which is one of my favorite cities.”
This multi-talented master, who works in both metal and etchings, has a studio in the East Village and another shared studio in Chelsea. While last year she was just a spectator at Art Basel, this past Art Basel, Agnieszka was the star.
“I was so glad to finally be there as a presenter. We were six artists in the group show. I was the only sculptor. It was great meeting other artists, and our team was mostly Polish. It’s nice to be with other artists from my home country. I was also in a group show in New York City in a church the end of last month. It’s their third annual show being held in a beautifully constructed old space filled with art. I will also have a solo show in February or March.”
When it comes to comparing the art scenes in Miami and New York, Agnieszka explained that “Miami was all about color and being flashy and it still is, but now I think people are seeing more galleries and museums and the approach to art is changing. New Yorkers are moving to Miami so they’re bringing the New York art scene there. New York is deeper and different. Miami is more about enjoying colors and popping, and New York thinks about the art on another level. Being at Art Basel and seeing all the pieces and what’s going on in the art world was really exciting. Getting to show my work in public at such an important event was amazing, especially receiving feedback from international crowds.”
This emerging artist, who started out in photography, enjoys trying different things, but said that “the strength and beauty of metal describes me as a person –sometimes I’m more into the edgy and I am always interested to see what it’s going to bring out in me. I also have phases of feeling passionate to create sculptures. With my sculptures, love contracts between beauty and sharpness. They’re beautiful and intriguing figures, but scary at the same time with all the sharp edges.”
Agnieszka also describes her art as being very realistic and personal. After all, she explained that “my art reflects my feelings. For some people it might be abstract, but for me the pieces are very real. People can see things from a different side in my sculptures and etchings. There’s one piece in particular that I created last year that I wasn’t ready to show yet, but I will be exhibiting it for the first time. It’s an etching of two figured females. I had lost vision in my right eye and created this piece for myself as I was going through the hard moments in the hospital. I have intense contrast in my work. I can stand in front of it and feel like a part of it, especially my new etching. I want my viewers to be a part of what I’m creating, it’s not just about being personal for me. My pieces are created on wooden blocks in the back so they all can change position. You can separate the plates or they can go together, so the viewer is the last creator of the piece.”
This international artist, who is going to Tokyo sometime this year, is enjoying living in New York. “My favorite place is Lincoln Center. I’m a huge fan of opera, so when I get stressed I try to go. It’s my second passion, I love it and any time I have a chance to go I’m buying my ticket and a beautiful dress. I also love going to all the art galleries in Chelsea and finding new spots and making new discoveries. New York never gets boring.”