Ivana Olbricht is an established artist who showcases her work internationally. Her works are part of many private collections in her homeland of Slovakia as well as abroad. In her work, Olbricht seeks to share positivity and is inspired by everything from sweet candies to quiet seashores. We recently caught up with Ivana to learn more about her hometown and how her various surroundings influence her art.
How has your hometown informed your art?
I live in a small village surrounded by mountains. The colors of changing seasons are definitely an inspiration for my landscape paintings. Being able to walk in the forest, observe wildlife and look from the top of the mountains gives an artist the valuable opportunity to see nature and life in general with an eagle eye perspective.
What was it like growing up there? Did you have a point in your life where you wanted to leave your hometown?
I grew up in an industrial city in southwest Slovakia and I couldn’t wait to turn 18 and leave. I wasn’t feeling at home on that flat land. I needed forests and hills to stay grounded and connected with the Earth. When I was a child, there was still a communist regime in Slovakia, but somehow, I didn’t feel or didn’t realize the heaviness of it all as adults may have. I know that we couldn’t travel anywhere without permission which was hard to get. We are all lucky that the regime ended peacefully and we can travel and live freely now. Newer generations don’t often realize how precious and valuable freedom is. You can do absolutely anything if you really want to.
What is your favorite thing about Slovakia?
As much I like travelling and I visit many places and different continents, Slovakia is on of the few modern countries in existence where you can still find quiet places without the crowds.
Do you have any particularly artistic memories or moments of inspiration from your international exposure?
Apart from meeting nice, like-minded people, it always fuels me with energy. When I hear people talking about my work, it is very interesting to see how many different opinions, impressions, and point of views can one painting begets. The positive feedback from the collectors fills me with happiness and confidence. It proves to me that my art has meaning.
What does ‘home’ mean to you?
I traveled a lot before I had kids, lived in many places abroad. I was at home anywhere I felt happy. I could live anywhere if surrounded by my loved ones.
The world is full of diversity and so is my art. That is why I don’t and can’t focus only on one style and technique. Sometimes I paint colorful abstracts influenced by colorful Caribbean architecture and music. Sometimes I paint minimalist paintings inspired by seashores, or by quite mediation and the love we feel when our mind is clear and peaceful. At other times I paint abstract landscapes inspired by beautiful mountain ranges like those in Switzerland, France, Italy, Norway, and Ireland. I also paint statement modern art influenced by current events in the world, focusing on what I think is important.
Any must-visit art addresses you recommend in Slovakia?
Bratislava and Kosice are big cities where the most galleries are situated. But I would rather recommend our countless castles which are spread across Slovakia. There is home for many masterpieces not only paintings but furniture as well as other historical treasures. And of course, you are welcome in my studio in Lysica with a mountain view.