VOLUPTUOUS TOWNS – city portrait – interview with Jan Astner

Your city portrait, your urban art is more of a story, isn’t it?

Jan Astner: It’s a story about people, it’s a metaphor. Cities are not streets, they are not squares, not houses. Cities are people. Each city is different because different people live in it. That is why the word „voluptuous” appears in the name of the series – because only people can be voluptuous. That is why I do paint portrait of visited cities.

The pictures from the “Voluptuous towns” series are not cityscapes. These are notes from meetings, a catalog of feelings and sensations. It is a moment spent with somebody over coffee in the square, a conversation during a walk, the atmosphere of a chance meeting. It is a memory that remains after leaving.

Jan Astner Voluptuous Towns 065 Bilbao artists inspirations

So a very intimate depiction of the face of urban space …

Jan Astner: I want to show the uniqueness of cities. I watch them. Every of the portrait has a specific, corresponding color. Each picture is a record of the feelings that accompanied the visit, a unique experience. The most interesting thing about traveling is discovering the sphere that cannot be seen, but can be experienced while looking at people, or actually watching them, picking at them. In my paintings, I leave the viewers space for their interpretation. They can turn on the fantasy. People who view the pictures of this series, without knowing their history and names of the cities, have associations with cities. Colors and painted forms give them emotional associations and shape their feelings. The reception is very private. It is possible only thanks to the abstract form of the works.

Jan Astner Voluptuous Towns 063 Mijas 60x60 75dpi

Will this portrait series ever be closed, finished one?

Jan Astner: It is an ongoing project, an endless series. I systematically record portraits of the cities I visit. The project has been going on for several years. Every year, new works are being added to it. Each portrait is an impression of a meeting with a city. I will paint series of city portrait as long as I will travel!

SYBARITIC POSES by Jan Astner, Vernissage at IAXAI Gallery
Voluptuous Towns 070 Perpignan, Jan Astner at IAXAI Gallery