The Best Address

Artist Jutta Widrinsky

Growing up on a farm, artist Jutta already knew as a child that feeding bulls and mucking out stables was not for her in the long run. Her heart beat for creative things. It was Zoya Sadri, an artist from Iran, who trained Jutta Widrinsky as a painter over the years. In a very classical way, which led to figurative painting. Her first attempts at abstraction were a disaster, she didn’t know in the slightest how to create a free, abstract picture from the Coke can in front of her. She was trapped in the realism of the object. Today she can no longer imagine painting representationally. Abstraction is a great freedom to create something completely new, to immerse an artist like Jutta in colors, structures and movement.

At the same time, painting is work. Her rollercoaster of emotions is constantly picking up speed, leading her into despairing troughs close to the garbage can and then back up again to satisfying heights until the canvas shines with a new work of art. So the path to a convincing painting is by no means linear or even simple, it is a constant struggle with the next brushstroke, the chosen color, the direction of the stroke. “I am sure, no, I know: this is the only way to create a good painting. For me, painting is pure emotion,” she says.

What’s your artistic background?

My artistic background can be described as a long journey. I started taking art lessons about 20 years ago. I regularly took lessons at least once a week for several hours. Initially I tried out different materials and drew simple motifs. For example, I painted an apple with pastels. I remember how incredibly difficult that was for me! After many units on perspective and light refraction, I started with acrylics and copied the paintings of old masters. All this was the basis for what I do today. Without these basic exercises, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today.

What‘s integral to the work of an artist?
This question really allows for a variety of answers. There are the facets of artistic ability, desire, imagination and, unfortunately, financial means. For me, it is very important to feel a deep-seated motivation that drives me to the canvas again and again. I could also call it curiosity, a curiosity that makes me look forward to the next result. But the longer I think about it, the more important it seems to me to always want to improve in everything I do as an artist.

 What role does the artist have in society?
An artist is someone you marvel at. At the same time, an artist is someone who is not taken seriously. If I asked 100 people, they would categorize art and artists very differently. I also see art in the presumably small things, small color accents that make a brochure great or turn an object into a work of art. For me, the work of the designer blurs with that of the artist. I only have to look out of the window to see things that have all been designed and yes, they all have a big impact on our lives. So the role of the artist is a big one. Some people recognize this, others don’t attach much importance to it.

What art do you most identify with?
I actually love paintings that look as if they were created very easily. They are the paintings that disguise how much work went into them. But of course, paintings by the Dutch masters in the Mauritshuis in The Hague also absolutely captivate me. They are so masterfully painted that you can’t escape them.

What themes do you pursue?
For me, nature sets the pace for my painting. I grew up on a farm and that has probably shaped me. I love the exuberant abundance of spring, I love the smell of rain in summer and the extraordinary variety of colors and shapes that nature
offers us. In my works, I process this abundance in organic forms and mostly bright colors. I find it astonishing that agricultural animals also sneak into my pictures time and again.

What‘s your favourite art work?
For me, there is no one painting. The selection is so incredibly large. It’s hard to imagine what I haven’t seen yet.

Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?
This may sound silly, but I had my first impressive experience as a primary school pupil. We had to draw children bathing in a river. There was a blue ribbon snaking across my sheet of paper in which flat little figures lay: the swimmers. I had drawn them with colored pencils. Then my teacher came and outlined each child with a dark felt-tip pen. That made an incredible effect. It was decades ago, but I still remember it today.

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
My very first job as a student was on the assembly line of a bread factory. Since I don’t want to starve, I still work in a regular job today, in marketing at an IT company. But that won’t be the case forever. Over the next few years, I’m going to make art the focus of my work.

Why art?
Because it’s the only way for me to give free rein to my creativity.

 What is an artistic outlook on life?
For me, art is a wonderful way to express myself. I have also found that art has been an outlet that has lifted a huge burden from my soul in a very stressful situation. I could have gone jogging or done something else that would have helped me. Instead, I started painting obsessively. I created some very beautiful works during this phase of my life. On Instagram they have the #93paintingswithoutthinking.

What memorable responses have you had to your work?
There really are a lot of them. On Instagram, I’m in a very friendly bubble where I receive praise and give honest praise. One user recently took the trouble to write me some very appreciative words that really touched my heart. Last but not least, it’s always incredible that there are people who actually spend money on my pictures. I am very grateful for that.

What food, drink, song inspires you?
Spontaneously, I would almost have said that neither one nor the other inspires me. But when I think about it, I realize that I almost always listen to the music of the German band “Element of crime” when I paint. Actually, the music is rather depressing (the opposite of my paintings), but I especially love the clever lyrics.


Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
No, I don’t actually think I’m lonely in my work. I am a very communicative person and look for people to talk to about art and life.

What do you dislike about the art world?
I am disturbed by the arrogance of many gallery owners who claim to decide which art may be seen and appreciated and which may not. I would also have liked to know beforehand which gallery offers I should stay away from. Because of course
there are also black sheep in this industry who take advantage of unsuspecting artists.

What do you dislike about your work?
It’s simple: it’s the recurring doubts that gnaw at me and ask me: is this painting really good enough?

What do you like about your work?
I am my own boss. I paint when I want and what I want. I experiment, nobody criticizes. When I paint, I’m in my own cosmos.

 Should art be funded?
In fact, it is already supported. Museums are supported, the documents in Kassel receives funding. But the further down the hierarchy you go, the more difficult it becomes to get support. Municipalities have little motivation or money to support artists. And of course I also ask myself why someone should rent me their space as a studio at a lower price than for a store. I wish that were the case, but the reality is different.

What role does arts funding have?
Art that is promoted ensures greater visibility. After all, not every artist is in a position to afford everything that is needed to achieve this visibility. How many sensational paintings are probably hidden away somewhere in basements or storerooms because no one has ever seen them? Even though they could have developed enormous potential. That’s why, as far as I’m concerned, art funding should go to unknown artists.

What is your dream project?
Good question. I’m actually thinking in small steps at the moment. Maybe I should allow myself to think big and in dream projects? My next step will take me to Berlin in July 2024, where I will exhibit my pictures in a pop-up store. It may not be a dream yet, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Name three artists you‘d like to be compared to.
I don’t want to be compared so much. I would rather go my own way and develop my own painterly signature by which I can be recognized. But off the top of my head, I can name two artists who always make my heart beat a little faster.Internationally, it’s Peter Doig. He captivated me years ago when I saw his original paintings for the first time at the Schirn in Frankfurt. I like this mixture of figuration and partial abstraction, this “new Romance” style. I don’t know whether this description of his style is accurate. That’s how his pictures look to me. And then there are the paintings by Petra Schott from Frankfurt. Her pictorial
worlds fascinate me every time. The composition, her carefully chosen colors and her skillful style are magnificent.


Favourite or most inspirational place ?
Everything outside. Light, shade, leaves, stones, water, fruit.

What‘s the best piece of advice you‘ve been given?
Kill your darling! I like this advice best because it is always a challenge. It’s a tip that I often have to struggle with. Because it means that I have to say goodbye to the part on the canvas that was my favorite. Painting over this element always takes courage and the confidence that it is the right decision.

Professionally, what‘s your goal?
This year is the year in which I consciously set myself up more professionally for the first time. I want to achieve the visibility that I have often written about here. This interview is a piece of the puzzle that should get me there.

Future plans?
A goal is very close. In a few days, my new website will finally go online. High time! Then my first newsletter will also be launched. I’m currently collecting topics that might interest my readers. If I want to publish a new newsletter every two weeks, I need material and ideas. These are the things that are simply important alongside painting. I hope that I succeed and that I can inspire people with my themes and paintings. Wish me luck.



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