'My Palimpsests'​ ​ by Olga Goldina Hirsch

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'My Palimpsests'

by Olga Goldina Hirsch

Exhibition Catalogue

www.artnumber23.uk | London - Athens


• Introduction • Artist Interview • Featured Artworks

'My Palimpsests' by Olga Goldina Hirsch


Introduction Olga is a British artist. She left her native city of Moscow in 2011, imbued with the cultural memory that inevitably shapes the Russian psyche and forms the basis of a certain emptiness and hopelessness common to all. Olga decided ‘to rewrite the draft of her life’ and in 2018 she got a Master degree in Fine Art (City & Guilds of London Art School). Her early works are full of ‘shadows from the past’ and filled with textures. On her paintings she is by the window, to which she returns again and again, until she decides ‘to escape’ and opens it to meet other worlds. Her language becomes more metaphorical, and more restrictive. Through layers of whitewash over primed by black gesso ‘her palimpsests’ viewers may immerse themselves with fragments of drawings reminiscent of her past. In her present works there are no restrictions. She found quite magically that as her brush touches the canvas, her thoughts and feelings begin to take form. Olga has recently presented at established international galleries, and become a member of International Association of Visual Art, Florence, Italy. Her works are in private collections, including the Copelouzos Family Art Museum, Athens, Greece, published in art magazines and in numerous of exhibitions, of late, all virtual. Her painting has been chosen for presentation by Le Salon des Artistes Français, Paris, France.

@olgahirschart olgahirschart@gmail.com www.olgahirschart.com


'Trilogy: By The Window. I. Hold Me!' | 200 x 140 x 3,8cm, 2017 Mixed (acrylic paint spray paint Plaster screen printing) on canvas


'Trilogy: By The Window. II. Nobody Could Stop Me Dreaming' | 200 x 140 x 3,8cm, 2017 Mixed (acrylic paint, spray paint, Plaster, screen printing) on canvas


Which contemporary trends in the art scene are you following and who are your biggest influences? My contemprorary approach is very close to conceptualism. When I was younger from the 80s to 90s I wasn’t an artist but I was fascinated by Moscow conceptualism. For this art: I think – I explain – I say. I suppose that Russian conceptual language is very metaphorical and not simple to understand, but for us at that time just before Perestroika we learned to read between the lines. And I brought this to my today art.

What is your favourite art movement up to the 20th Century and how has it affected your work? This is definitely German abstract expressionism from which I learn to express my strong emotions without being afraid to do someting wrong. Their paintings are so free in the choice of medium. I was definitely fascinated by their textural paintings using collage and by their use of bold a very big canvas. I did someting similar at the beginning, but I do not use so much texture now,and I am trying to open up space using a variety of my own techniques, but I have continued to work with big canvases. This is my size.

Is there any advice you would give to your younger self? Be brave, have no regrets and keep going! But that’s exactly what I do.


What is your favorite part of this job? During the period before I start to work, I think - by writing, reading, and discussing it with my close and clever friends, and sketching.

What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio? I do not have any rituals. I do not have any favourite tools. I can work almost anywhere. But I found my own lanquage and this is something special which I feel belongs only to me.

How have you developed in your career over the past 5 years and where do you see yourself 5 years from now? This is difficult to say. I decided to be an artist quite late, but it was ten years ago, can you imagine? Time is running so fast. I wouldn’t say that I missed out during my quarantine year, there were so many things, which happened, good and bad, and I just live and work day to day and do not look ahead. What I achieve will be mine (smile).

Give us some behind-the-scenes from the creating process / What is the last thing you do before starting working / What is the first thing you do when your work is done? The last thing I do before starting to work is clean my floor, make a frame, and then stretch canvas and prime it. The first think I have to do when my work is done is to take a photo of it, and then I unstretch the canvas, roll it up and put it to my storage room.


'Trilogy: By The Window. II. Let Me Go' | 200 x 140 x 3,8cm, 2017 Mixed (acrylic paint, spray paint, Plaster, screen printing) on canvas


'By The Window: Beyond Time and Space' | 200 x 140 x 3,8cm, 2018 Mixed media (black gesso, Acrylic paint, spray paint, Oil pastel, screen printing) on canvas


'By The Window: Moscow, Arbat, 1941, 5am' | 200 x 140 x 3,8cm, 2018 Mixed media (black gesso, Acrylic paint, spray paint, Oil pastel, screen printing) on canvas


'By The Window: The Summer Night' | 200 x 140 x 3,8cm, 2018 Mixed media (black gesso, Acrylic paint, spray paint, Oil pastel, screen printing) on canvas


Is there a connection between your process/the materials you use and the message you want to convey in your work? Yes, sure. This is an important part of my language. To express space and the lightness of my feelings and memories, I use spray paint, for example. If I wish to show something very strong and powerful I can use even roofing felt, melting it with blow touch. Sometimes but not often. I like to use radiant oil pastel as a symbol of hidden marks or a flashing memory, but I use it in a special way. Or if I want to say something very personal, I may use screen-printing imbedding family images.

How do you define success in an artist’s career? I think I will never know.

How do you deal with the art scene during/after the Coronavirus pandemic? This year was very productive for me. I did not stop, I began to collaborate with galleries and have had two actual and few virtual exhibitions. I have participated in open calls and found new friends and colleagues. I have taken a few very useful online courses. Luckely, I have my home studio, but working at home, I did a lot of digital art too, which didn’t require a studio. My favourite work is my ‘Quarantine Obsession Diary’ which I did last spring. It is full of emotions from this time.


How do you deal with social media? How has social media affected promoting your art? In the past I was a marketing manager for hospital pharnaceutical products. I always said that to be succesful in the market you have to have a good product but now I have to sell my own. For the art market it is difficult to find the right strategy and the market itself is new for me, but I found that Instagram and other social media could be very helpful. On the internet I can quickly find the answer to almost any question and it is a great tool for promotion, doing it anytime, anywhere, while on my way using my mobile; all means of communicationare in my pocket now


'My Anti-World I' | 150 x 105 x 3,5 cm , 2019 Mixed media (black gesso, Acrylic paint, spray paint, Oil pastel, screen printing) on canvas


'My Anti-World II' | 150 x 105 x 3,5 cm , 2019 Mixed media (black gesso, Acrylic paint, spray paint, Oil pastel, screen printing) on canvas


How do you define success in an artist’s career? I think the definition of success for an artist is to do the things he/she wishes to express and to make his/her voice heard by causing discomfort to the desired audience if necessary! The artist must have the luxury of making “art for art”! Because then you can be a pioneer/avant-garde . And while creating your work, which may be giving a product in any branch of art "You do not feel any pressure on you that you cannot do it that way!" However, unfortunately, this FREEDOM OF ART EXPRESSION is still a luxury or something impossible in many geographies. First of all, an artist performs his/her art as he/she wishes in a free, secular place and country. Of course, he/she can then announce this to the masses as much as possible and of course he/she can see that his/her works are appreciated and sold while he/she is alive. I guess this is the success of a living artist! Being like the sad end of genius artists like Van Gogh and Camille Claudel, it's really sad! However, this is the destiny of genius artists, even beyond their age. It may take a few generations to understand him/her and his/her works. Of course, this is also a great measure of success, but the problem here is that the artist cannot witness this situation while he/she is alive!..

What are the next steps in your career? Until this time, I have participated in many domestic and international real and virtual group exhibitions such as Japan, Italy, Greece, UK etc. I can hardly count. However, from now on, mainly participating in solo exhibitions and auctions, maybe living in Berlin again abroad, creating an even bigger atelier are my next steps for my art career.


What do you think is more important: the concept, the techniques or both? In fact, this question reminded me of the discourse of "Function determines design" in architecture. And the two ecoles that developed in return for this; While Italy and Germany consider design as a dominant and valuable factor, the other says that what does not fulfill the function is meaningless. Likewise, since the introduction of Contemporary Art in the 1960s, there has been a dilemma of conceptual art or technique. In my opinion, the artist should be able to stand at equal distance to both of them and should not be able to use whichever work he or she will create whenever he or she desires, not exclude it according to his mood and what he wants to tell, because both are equally important because ART MUST BE INCLUSION , NOT EXCLUSIONARY!

When people view your artwork what do you want them to experience? Actually, what I want to convey to people through my works is; to touch their hearts. this is called emotion transition. I also care about expressing depression, pessimism, love, freedom, happiness, wellbeing, etc. many concepts we live in and are in in our lives through my paintings or photographs and that this is passed on to the audience. Therefore, when they visit the exhibition, they experience this feeling and "I saw the eyes of the people in the painting, I was scared!" or "I felt his pain in my heart!" I want them to have feelings and empathy like that..


'My Anti-World III' | 150 x 105 x 3,5 cm , 2019 Mixed media (black gesso, Acrylic paint, spray paint, Oil pastel, screen printing) on canvas


'My Anti-World IV' | 150 x 105 x 3,5 cm , 2019 Mixed media (black gesso, Acrylic paint, spray paint, Oil pastel, screen printing) on canvas


'My Anti-World V' | 150 x 105 x 3,5 cm , 2019 Mixed media (black gesso, Acrylic paint, spray paint, Oil pastel, screen printing) on canvas


My Anti-World VI' | 150 x 105 x 3,5 cm , 2019 Mixed media (black gesso, spray paint, screen printing, Acrylic paint, oil pastel) on Canvas


'Shadows From the Past' | 120x60x4cm each, 2014 TRIPTYCH, mixed media (oil paint, acrylic paint, roofing felt) on board


After Malevich: 'The Night Window. Diptych, part I' | 200 x 140 x 3,8cm, 2018 Mixed media (black gesso, Acrylic paint, spray paint, oil pastel) on Canvas


After Malevich: 'The Night Window. Diptych, part II' | 200 x 140 x 3,8cm, 2018 Mixed media (black gesso, Acrylic paint, spray paint, oil pastel) on Canvas


'Coming Back' | 137,5 x 215 x 3,5 cm, 2018 Mixed media (screen printing, Acrylic paint, paper, collage) on canvas


'To Escape' | 120 x 60 x 4 cm each, 2018 Mixed media (black gesso, Acrylic paint, Oil pastel, spray paint, screen printing) on canvas


'My Palimpsests'

exhibition catalogue


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