PORTRAIT OF AN ARTIST Natalya Kochak The wanderlust!
Every day we interact with a piece that holds memories and value to us, each containing its own history because of the labor, care and time, loaded on each medium, IRREVERSIBLE Art Monaco 2015 holds a unique level of intention and weight, an intimate declaration that explore togetherness and attachment. I truly believe in the work of these artists, and the important role they play widening means to a cultural exchange enriching our lives profoundly. Noor Blazekovic
Natalya Kochak was born in New York into a large half Ukranian family. Her father is a Scientist and her mother is a Journalist and mother of five children. She graduated with my BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2005 and currently resides in Miami. In 2010, she received a residency with the Red Gate Gallery in Beijing and in 2011 traveled to Berlin for a 3 month residency with Takt Kunstprojektraum. She also raised money through Kickstarter to teach art in Uganda for 2 months. While there I worked on my own projects and created a community mural with my students.
The Family of Man In Watercolor To date, this body of work is composed of two distinct series, The Bruised Fruit and A Temporal Slice. While both series embody themes particular to themselves, they both reflect the interrelationships of man, and in this sense they are one.
Noor Blazekovic IRREVERSIBLE Founder Publisher / Curator:
Who are you and what do you do? Natalya Kochak: My name is Natalya Kochak. I am a painter, printmaker, and mixed media artist working primarily with the figure or concept of human expression and identity.
NB: Can you tell us about The Bruised Fruit Series? Natalya Kochak: The people in the ‘Bruised Fruit’ paintings are fragile, but tough. They are beautiful, but their beauty is intimately bound to their travails. Each has a multitude of stories to tell, stories of fatigue, struggle, love, joy, disappointment, and sometimes a life’s worth of hard times.
NB: Why do you do what you do? Natalya Kochak: I moved around a lot as a teenager and in my adult life to drastically different places, New York to Kansas, Kansas to Alabama, Alabama to Chicago, Chicago to Austin, TX, and then eventually to Miami. In between I spent time in Africa, Berlin, and China. In spending so much time in such different places I found myself becoming a spectator of each culture. The similarities and differences between each person I met and place. As I’ve gotten older I’ve become less of an observer and more involved in the life around me but I am still intrigued by what makes a person tick, what causes them to be or how they react to social or political situations.
NB: How do you work? Natalya Kochak: I use many different techniques, epoxy, mixed media, and mono printing techniques. The work I am showing in Art Monaco as part of Irreversible Projects was created by using a mono printing technique or painting on plexi and then transferring it to Mylar, which is a plastic. In the printing process I move the glass around to create my desired look and then sometimes go back in with oil paint. This process is a mixture of painting and printmaking. I use this technique to get multiple images. In doing this I can further my ideas of how identity is affected by outward influences. In a way the multiple images and the printmaking symbolize mass production.
NB: What’s integral to your work as an artist? Natalya Kochak: That the work stirs emotions and thoughts in the viewer.
NB: What role as an artist do you have in society? Natalya Kochak: By painting faces and people over and over again I’m recording the subtlety and variety of human experience and personality for the larger community.
The Temporal Slice of Ugandan Community Art Project. Leticia Mireles & Natalya Kochak raised money to fund a trip to Uganda in order to further The Family of Man in Watercolor, and to teach art classes to the children of Masaka.