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Aliya Abs

Aliya Abs

Germany (1987-)

Everyday scenes that make you dream

With her paintings, Aliya Abs (°1987, lives and works in Munich) primarily wants to convey an emotion. 'Especially in my works with figures, feelings take centre stage. In doing so, I always visualise the story and background of a person at a specific moment. In my work around places or things, I try to convey a more essential feeling. I look for the traces of a person, or the feeling they have left behind. For example, a vase of autumn flowers can evoke my favourite feeling of melancholy,' Aliya Abs explains.

'At the same time, still lifes of tables and places are technically interesting, and allow me to experiment with colour, texture and composition. I usually don't make any sketches beforehand. Through a few direct lines, I immediately put the contours of my idea on canvas. Then I start elaborating on the scene. I usually work on several paintings at once. Sometimes it happens that I paint over a canvas several times, until it is completely right.'

For her paintings and drawings, the Ukrainian-born artist mainly uses rather traditional materials such as canvas and paper in combination with acrylic paint and oil pastel crayons, respectively. 'Recently, I started experimenting with chalk and collage elements from pieces of fabric. In terms of colour palette, the combination of black with dark earth tones predominates. Although I choose my colours intuitively, so that can change quickly.'

Creative power

Aliya Abs finds inspiration in the universe of fashion designers, photographers and musicians, and in Egon Schiele's portraits, Kazimir Malevich's search for the essence or Johanna Dumet's paintings. But also in everyday life. 'I paint what I see and feel: interesting people, charming places and beautiful objects. As a family man and avid traveller, real life fascinates me immensely. Thus, I found inspiration for my series of vases in a recent trip to Paris. I also want to translate numerous other impressions into paintings. I love the culture of the French city and music, which is now constantly playing in my studio,' says Abs. 'In addition, my recent series Au revoir means a lot to me. That one is about letting go, moving on and leaving everything behind. It's about not looking back, but looking forward to the future and moving on.'

With her work, Aliya Abs wants to give viewers a chance to unwind for a while, and escape from our hectic world. 'I try to evoke a sense of calm, serenity and dreaminess with my creations. This is how I try to share my inner feelings with the outside world. Art is an integral part of who I am, and I could not live without that creativity,' says Abs. 'I try to convey that feeling to other people. Whether you are more emotional or rational, regardless of your age or where you live: everyone needs artistic inspiration to fully experience the highs of life, and overcome the lows. In this sense, I see authentic art as crucial for our society. I hope that the emotional, creative power of art is not lost with the rise of technological developments. While these offer prodigious perfection for everything, they will never contain a true soul. Just herein lies the enormous power of art.'

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Black Vase by artist Aliya Abs

Black Vase, 2023

Aliya Abs