Anna Pajak | Dreams & Illusions

Janice K. Johnson


About Anna Pajak

Anna Pajak (b. 1992 in Stockholm, Sweden) is a graduate with an MFA from The Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm, in 2020. Today she considers herself a painter and printmaker. She explores geometrical spaces and architectural elements such as surfaces, patterns, and depths in her works. Pajak merges color, symbols, and perspectives into visionary imagery where the abstract meets the figurative. Drawing from modernist female painters, spiritualism, and dreams, Pajak deconstructs and recombines symbols, images, shapes, and architectural fragments in ways that challenge traditional contexts and interpretations. Her large-scale paintings bring a sense of another dimension to life – a reality on the border of dream and fiction.

Her starting point is often a bodily sensation translated into the visual.

Anna Pajak is represented by Wetterling Gallery in Stockholm. She has also been exhibiting at Stene Projects, Stockholm, Kunstverket Galleri, QSPA Gallery, Oslo, and at The Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts, to name a few. Anna holds rewards with grants from the Queen Sonja Printmaking Award (2021) and the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts (2019 and 2020).

In 2020 Hue&Eye hosted the first interview with Anna Pajak. Since her art practice has considerably evolved so far, we are glad to show updates and her latest works! 

Anna Pajak
All photos by Jean-Baptiste Beranger

Anna Pajak

Hello Anna, welcome back! For whom haven’t read about you before, let’s start from the basics. Where have you grown up, and how have you understood you wanted to become an artist?

My name is Anna Pajak, and I grew up in Stockholm, Sweden! I always knew it. I woke up like a painter 😉

Can you briefly say something about your technique and tell us what drives you to make art?

I am a painter and printmaker. In my practice, I use both fluid acrylics and oil paint. The drive usually feels more like a need. My starting point is often a bodily sensation translated into the visual. I explore geometrical spaces and architectural elements such as surfaces, patterns, and depths. I merge color, symbols, and perspectives into visionary imagery where the abstract meets the figurative.

Drawing from modernist female painters, spiritualism, and dreams, I try to deconstruct and recombine symbols, images, shapes, and architectural fragments in ways that challenge traditional contexts and interpretations. I like my canvases large-scale, so the paintings can bring a sense of another dimension to life – a reality on the border to dream and fiction.

What main feature has changed in your works or practice throughout the years?

It evolves constantly. My paintings are a conversation between Anna and all women from different times. These women are found everywhere, in obvious places, and sometimes barely noticeable.

I paint as a way to think about this, inviting non-included voices into the patriarchal representation of languages, words, and themes.

Anna Pajak

Anna Pajak

Which artist primarily inspires your work? And is there something else, outside visual arts, that keeps you motivated?

” The Laugh of the Medusa” was the title of my last solo show at Wetterling Gallery in Stockholm. The tile comes from Hélène Cixous, a French feminist writer. Before I started working on this show, I came across her essay. I sensed a significant interest in how I could transfer her theory of female writing to my painting practice.

Her writing is cyclical and non-linear, like the female body. Just like painting, I thought. What distinguishes female writing, according to Cixous, is that it gives expression to the body. Also, the language captures what the body has experienced, just like painting, I thought.

A narrative emerges parallel with the paintings in my practice; the stories can be abstract and point to a state of mind. In the image, I get to know the characters/symbols, and in me, with them, a new story is woven. 

So for this show, I invited Medusa’s companionship to the studio, and together we have let her shields (my paintings) grow. The snakes standing from her hair are an interpretation of her different desires for the diversity of the woman being. There are no dichotomies in that show, as everything exists simultaneously. I saw the exhibition as her return. Violent and soft at the same time.

Anna Pajak

Anna Pajak

Anna Pajak

Spread the word! Do you have anything exciting on the horizon?

Yes, I do! This summer, I’m exhibiting in a group show, ” Dreams & Illusions,” at Alma Löv Museum of Unexpected Art. I’m pleased about this one, ever since I visited the museum a few years ago I have wanted to show my works there, it is a magical place!

Before that, I’m going to New York to work with the master printers at United Limited Art Editions, part of the Queen Sonja Printmaking Award I received in 2020.

Follow Anna Pajak on Instagram or visit her website!

Read similar interviews by Hue&Eye >

 





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