A Portrait of the Artist : Magda Karol


Tell us how you first got into street art, what was the scene like where you grew up and how many years have you been painting?

I have been painting since I can remember but last year was the first time I stood in front of a wall with paint in my hand. As I grew up I witnessed the growth of graffiti culture as trains and walls were painted at night. At that time, I wasn’t bold enough to do anything against the law. Today, street art is accepted and there are festivals like Waterford Walls. This event gave me the chance to develop a different field of art.


What has been your favourite place to paint and why?

For me place is not significant. Walls and their surroundings should work with the artist trying to add something new to their appearance without trying to change them completely. In this year’s project I will focus on the first lines I saw on the falling plaster on the building which inspired me to draw out into the already existing shape. I do not have a favourite wall, as each one inspires me to create something new.


What is your biggest source of inspiration in your work? Do you have any favourite writers or artists? 

My biggest inspiration is people. I always incorporate human emotions into my art and illustrate them in a metaphorical way. I also have my artistic masters who inspire me and give me new ideas. I love Egon Schiele’s freestyle lines, colour-building like Janny Saville and Sepe, and the incredible guys from Etam Cru who play with the light.


What city do you live in now? Has this affected your style, medium or technique in any way?

I have been living in Waterford for 13 years and the fact that I’m a foreigner, and I’m slightly ‘exotic’ helps me to take any criticisms on board much easier. I’m mainly creating for my own recognition but the people of Waterford believed in my authenticity, they invested their faith in my art and thus supported me in my further artistic provocations.


We’re very excited about having you at Waterford Walls 2017, What attracted you to the project? And what are you most looking forward to?

This year I will be taking part in the Waterford Walls Festival for the second time, and I’m just as excited. This festival once again gives me the opportunity to showcase my art on a large scale and expand my own techniques and this is most exciting for me.


How would you rate Waterford Walls in terms of artistic quality standard? 

I am the last person to judge anything!  I can certainly say that WWF and the people taking part in it are helping me to expand my artistic potential and they are enriching it with a new energy.


The theme of Waterford Walls 2017 is “Renewal & Regeneration”. What do you see as being street arts role in this? 

WWF has changed the aesthetics of the city. New walls with new colours light up the grey streets of Waterford. The city gets more modern because street art is a form of contemporary art. I am honoured that my work may have an impact on the appearance of this city.


Do you have any projects, trips or shows coming up that we can look out for? 

Last month I was working elsewhere so I accidentally neglected my own artistic backyard. From September I will be back at full speed as I have ideas ready to illustrate but where and when will you be able to see them? Honestly, as yet, I have no idea.


Any shout outs, thanks, links or comments?

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people who trusted in me and my art and accepted my exotic authenticity. There are so many that I cannot mention them all in a short interview but thank you all very much!!!

Find Magda on Facebook here.

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