After attending the Academies of Fine Arts at Venice and Florence, Polish born painter Ania Tomicka settled comfortably into her favorite medium- oil paint- while continuing to broaden her interests in digital art and beyond. The most recent work featured on her website is a five- year long spectrum, showing the evolutions of her style firsthand, as well as the key factors that haven’t changed. The renaissance influence in Ania’s portfolio is strong, albeit catapulted a few centuries into the future and perhaps across dimensions. It’s portraiture, narrative, and a character study; musing on the female form, the artist happens upon an entire world suspended between fantasy and an animated darkness.
Ania’s paintings are, for the most part, portraits of girls, their expressions caught in dainty features and doe eyes. Porcelain- skinned and wispy, these are characters in a web of surreality. Following the twisted ins and outs of the classic fairytale, the demeanor of Ania’s subjects suggests a hint of danger and impending doom, but also of magic and a shy curiosity. It’s all in the eyes. Whether they stay glazed over, eternally pensive, or hold your gaze, challenging or inviting or both, they are what connects the audience to the painting- our simple, primal interest in that which reminds us of ourselves.
It’s the little things that count, too. my personal favorite paintings of Ania’s are the ones in which she includes fine details that speak to the identity of the subject more then you’d expect them to. In one piece, it’s a troupe of shadow bunnies, flickering across a girl’s bare chest. In another, it’s those same little creatures, lurking in the background like puppets, not quite monsters, but not pets, either. It’s this quiet injection of subplot within a storyline that colors Ania’s scenes, making them more than cute, more than they seem at first glance.
While she works on canvas, some of the artist’s pieces are rendered on wood, giving them a priceless texture which adds to the medieval, earthy, elfin effect that we get from some of her other work- another testament to her capacity for experiment. Digitally, she achieves the same level of connection she does with manually done artwork- it becomes not so much a matter of medium as understanding the bond the viewer can make with an artwork, and the elements that first draw them in.
Techincally solid and continuously expressive, Ania’s paintings are charming, but their importance moves past the aesthetic. Tomicka manages to give her characters something we can all recognize while keeping them alluringly inhuman.