Kenyan-born Stanislaw Trzebinski was recently invited to participate in a collaborative exhibition between well-renowned Christie’s Auction House and South Africa’s Southern Guild Gallery. DECO caught up with the young sculptor to explore the mind of this passionate creative.
You continue to create a powerful stream of work with bold imagery which coveys a strong message. Where do you draw your inspiration?
Most of my inspirations come from the natural world – and more frequently the sea. There are some many beautiful patterns, textures, forms and shapes to sample from and I use these as the building blocks to abstract my work with and give it its unique look – the almost weathered, encrusted and otherworldly feel.
Our latest issue celebrates African design and explores the future of design in Africa. What does African design mean to you?
Design to me is a fairly new field of play – to date my primary focus has been on figurative sculpture, but having ventured into the design world and seeing what the competition has to offer, it’s clear to see that African design encompasses a huge amount of talent as well as beauty. I think that as more and more people start recognizing design as essentially a refine form of art, and often-functional art, then we’re likely to see huge leaps forward in innovation and of pushing the boundaries of what is possible. As far as what African design means to me goes, Africa is a place of immense natural beauty, naturally and I think that it is important to bring those aspects into the finished product in a refined way.
We are in the digital age. With everything becoming digital, how does that affect artists today?
Digital means that as an artist, one has to keep up with it and evolve, or get left behind. The digital platform enables artist to share their work globally within seconds – something that can be both a blessing and a curse. It’s tough these days to be original because we are bombarded by thousands of images every day – so subconsciously one gets influenced by things one sees all the time. They say that today, on average we see more images in one day than someone would have seen in an entire life time 100 years ago. That’s food for thought! As far as sculpture goes, the use of 3D modeling tools on the computer had made life a lot easier for sculptors and designers alike – it’s just another tool really in the hands of a creative. 3D printing technology now bridges the gap between the digital and the material and enables artists to create things that would never have been possible before. It’s exciting to say the least!
Being a creative entrepreneur, how do you balance the creative and the corporate side of the business?
It’s something that I have always kept on top of since the start. If you told me 4 years ago when I was aspiring to be a sculptor about how much paperwork I would be doing today, I would have laughed in your face! It is a constant struggle to keep the balance right, but allocating things to other people to do for you is a great way of freeing up time to be creative and do what I love most about this job– make art! I’ve been fortunate enough to have met the right people and been given the right advice at the right time. The most important part I think in keeping the balance is to make sure I’m constantly turning out new work and not sitting at a desk all day doing paperwork!
Okay let’s talk about décor – how would you describe the style of your home?
Simplistic – Filled of plants, light and more recently a small collection of art that’s gradually growing. (The exciting thing about being an artist is the ability to barter your work for that of others). I try to limit the amount of clutter because a cluttered living space usually means a cluttered mind and that’s not good for the creative juices.
The piece that’s being exhibited is a coffee table that I did earlier last year titled Triton’s Table. The first of the edition was quite moody, with a sandblasted Kiaat tabletop that I stained black and polished. However, this edition has a more refined look, with beautifully finished wood – also Kiaat, and bronze legs that I have made to look like something one would find on a ship wreck – it’s always a challenge to mix something totally organic like the legs of this table, with something that’s perfectly square and do so in a way that looks natural. I think I got it pretty close.
Who are your favorite artists to follow on social media?
I follow a few – Doormoosh, Nick Bibby….
What are you reading right now?
Sapiens – a brief history of human kind. I’ve been at it for 6 months – I don’t get much time to read!
What’s on your playlist right now?
Crash Test Dummies, Arthur Beartrice, David August, Nils Fahm, Nicolas Jaar.
Where can we get hold of your work?
I am currently represented by a few of galleries in South Africa – Objekt-Design-Art in Franschhoek, Art Gallery in Hout Bay, The Jan Royce Gallery in Cape Town and Intoto Gallery in Johannesburg. You can also visit my website for more info too! I’ve got my second solo show titled “Ortus” opening at the Jan Royce Gallery on the 2nd of November. There will be a total of 22 never before see works in bronze and on print – the show will run until the 7th January 2017.
Images courtesy of Stanislaw Trzebinski
Want to see more of Stanislaw’s work?
Digital intern Gabriella Neumbo was born and bred in the semi-arid country of Namibia but adopted by the African rainbow nation of South Africa. She has an unwavering passion for fashion, good food and travel, but it’s the adventures with her other love, photography, that would truly put you through a 1000 words.
The Africa Issue is a celebration of the future of design in Africa and its potential to drive change. We explore the concept of ‘Africaness’, what this means for our aesthetic. We also dream big with bedroom inspiration and take you on a tour of homes that truly embrace the spirit of the continent. Pick up your copy today and tell us what you think on Twitter @Elle_Deco using #AfricaIssue