My previous post reviewed the thought provoking drama Ruined, by Lynn Nottage. I had the privilege of attending this performance with fellow painter, Veronika Szkudlarek. As there are no accidents, Veronika’s insight into the plight of African women was invaluable.
Informed by extensive travels throughout Africa, the Mid-East, Europe and North America, Veronika addresses the ignorance and cruelty of war. Through direct observation of its methods, its structure and its victims, she plants herself firmly in the center as an artist existing within and relevant to a global community.
Veronika’s mural for the Mother Theresa Missionaries of Charity orphanage in Kigali, Rwanda brought her into direct contact with the more than one- hundred women and children, survivors of the Rwandan Genocide, that are residents. It also facilitated conversations with government officials intent on building sustainable living conditions and meaningful lives for the victims of the atrocity.
Veronika’s work doesn’t depict images of the horrors of war, but rather the vestiges of those horrors. It is as though her paintings themselves weep, with surfaces of lachrymose paint, bleeding image into ground. This sensitive marriage of palette, medium and subject engenders the essentially hopeful role of the artist, as if stating that there is another way.
Veronika’s work is included at the upcoming exhibition "Skin Deep" at Kips Gallery, 511 West 25th Street, New York, NY, August 18 through September 1, 2009.