The dying city
New age Manhatten
HOW DO I CREATE MY PAINTINGS…
Making a painting is not an easy thing.
It all begins in a little corner of my head and then as it develops till it tickles my left hand to lift a soft 2B pencil to register that idea in my checker notebook. A few scratches, not more that a few inches in size.
If the idea is worth being developed, it is then coloured with crayons, some new details are added and a draft made on good quality paper of size 14 x 11.5 cm.
The idea is then presented to the Family Jury (my wife and 4 daughters). They are a loving but formidable jury to get past and in most cases by ideas are given a tough sentence and rejected. The verdict usually leads to a haranguing and a little family tension.
After a few weeks I make another appeal to this jury. If it is still negative then that work gets buried in the archives. But most often one of the girls take pity on my appeal and reluctantly encourages me to finish that piece of art.
It immediately breathes life and transforms from a scratch to prospective painting status. I work with pastels at this stage and most people would consider it as good as finished. But for me only with the strokes of paint can I show the nuances of colour and visual effects.
Yerka began working full-time as an artist in 1980. He had several contracts with galleries in Warsaw and also worked for commissions. He cites Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Bruegel, Cagliostro, Jan van Eyck, and Hugo van der Goes as formative influencers of his work. His subject matter ranges from odd beasts to whimsical landscapes incorporating extraordinary architecture, and include imagery gleamed from his childhood, such as his grandmother’s kitchen. Says Yerka, “For me, the 1950s were a kind of Golden Age … If I were, for instance, to paint a computer, it would definitely have a pre-war aesthetic to it.”
In 1990, Yerka received a contract with Hollywood producer Renee Daalder to design figures, monster-machines and surreal landscapes for the science fiction film Strawberry fields. The film planned to combine both Yerka’s work with songs from the Beatles and Yerka participated in the first stage of its production. Work typically progresses from agraphite sketch, to crayon drawing, then a pastel com, and finally an acrylic painting.
Summer in town
The second day of creation
The riders of chaos
The Green Millennium