Zdenka Palkovic is a self-taught, Swiss-based contemporary painter (born in 1950) who is humbled to be in the art industry. During her teen years, she attended the School of Fine Arts for five years in Bratislava. It was until the age of 16 that Zdenka took drawing and painting lessons. However, at that time, she had the impression that she didn’t require an innovative spirit. With such talent, she unapologetically admits that the only reason she never pursued art is because she was only good at copying.
A fun fact is that several of her ancestors painted, but all of them were self-taught. In addition, they never exposed their artwork, which makes us fortunate to know Zdenka chose to expose hers. One can only wonder if her unparalleled artwork comes from genetics. She is a third-generation painter, adding a magic touch to her paintings as well as stain-glass paintings. Zdenka was once quoted as saying, “To paint is to abandon the tumult of one’s intrusive thoughts, to connect with one’s inner self in a parallel world where the brush becomes the magic tool, which reveals the unsuspected beauties of being.” From looking at Zdenka’s enchanting paintings mixed with lustrous hues, you notice they’re fully immersed in personal yet relatable self-expression, which is something she was able to do since 2008. Her preplanned art is used as another way of resourceful communication, expressing resilience, depression, sympathy, etc.
Some exhibits where Zdenka showcased her art are “Fumumisterie Geneva” in 2013 “Galerie Enbeauregard, Montreux” in 2016, “Tox’n Co Genève” in 2017, “Art Shopping Paris,” “La Ruine,” and “Genève” in 2018, “Amsterdam Whitney Gallery,” (where she exhibited in Genesis of the Illuminata exhibition) “ArtExpo New York,” “Biennale Basel,” “Art Innsbruck,” “The Royal Opera Arcade Gallery,” “Merlino Gallery,” “Florence Colorida Gallery,” and the “Ink Gallery” in 2019. As an artist, she explored the world where there are various sceneries to be painted. Her imagination consists of a down-to-earth art style yet can usher you into surreal places through nature. While she’s much more talented than she gives herself credit for, she’s constantly evolving when she paints portraits, landscapes, and abstract work. Sometimes, all of the themes are into one piece.
In one painting by Zdenka, you may notice people behaving dramatically on a landscape, and in another, you may notice the aesthetic nature impressively done. Her selective usage of color, depth, proportion, and contrast all play a key role in why she’s recognized domestically and internationally. Zdenka has the unique ability to blur out any section of her quality work, allowing you to focus primarily on one subject in content. Art has a way of speaking metaphors, and while Zdenka’s work is an expression of herself, it captures a relatable reality with a twist of fantasy. From any perspective you view her artwork, you can’t help but respect it.
Art supplies are expensive. Have you ever experimented with other art styles before you became accomplished at the ones you excel at? Are there any art styles that you aren’t good at?
I have experimented with many styles over the last 15 years. Maybe I am not very good at realistic (photographic realism) types of painting.
Your work titled “Brave New World” is the type of painting you can turn upside down and sideways, receiving a different feeling. In actuality, the work appears like an animated comet in black and white about to hit a town. It also appears like someone who is watching over the town. If I look closely, it’s as if though the windows to the buildings are misshaped as it fades in the background of a low opacity rate. What were your intentions when creating this piece? What do you want the viewers to feel?
This painting is inspired by Aldous Huxley’s « Brave new world ». My intention was to express the fear and loneliness of people today facing the invasion of the virus. It is also an image of the person from the last century floating above the city of today, wondering what happened to today’s society.
The image is blurred, as are our feelings are blurred….
“Brave New World.” ©. 2020. All Rights Reserved.
Do you paint outdoors when you paint?
I rarely paint outdoor. I like to be in my atelier, to have all the materials at hand.
“Desertique.” ©. 2020. All Rights Reserved.
In the work, “Hommage à W.Turner,” there are two things that aren’t blurry. That’s the person who appears to be standing on a dock and the person on a boat. You do fully express yourself in your work. Is this symbolic of anything that happened in your life? It’s almost as if the painting represents focus. The surroundings of the two people are a blur, but them not being blurry represents consciousness. Is any part of that true, or are your paintings up to the viewer’s own perspective.
My intention was to show that the only moment which is important is the NOW. That's why you see quite distinctly the two characters, but everything else is blurry. Human beings have always tried to foresee the future, but it stays blurred… the only thing is the present.
“Hommage à W.Turner.” ©. 2020. All Rights Reserved.
You tend to experiment with abstract work and nature. Do you ever get lonely painting?
No, I never get lonely painting!
Taking a look at the painting, “Retour du fils prodigue” it’s gloomy with the added element of realism. It looks like a picture about rejection or loss. When I continue looking at the work, the person who could be crying is also in a bowing position. Perhaps, he or she is showing respect.
Painting is inspired by the Japanese movie. « Karei naru ichizoku » (I’ve studied Japanese for11 years, have visited Japan many times. I am sincerely interested in their culture).
Painting is showing a son who is bowing to his father—asking for forgiveness.
“Retour du fils prodigue.” ©. 2020. All Rights Reserved.
Have you ever sold a work of art that you thought deserved to be worth more money?
No, I did not have that experience.
“Embrace of the Mountain.” ©. 2020. All Rights Reserved.
According to Artiva.com, it took years before the desire to paint regained you again. What made you stop, and what made you continue?
I never really stopped. I was doing portraits of friends, colleagues, family members.
Later in my life, I met somebody who made me come back fully to art. I took lessons with several Swiss and French artists in order to find out my own way.
“Dream.” ©. 2020. All Rights Reserved.
Are there any works of art that you’d consider buying back?
“Hope.” ©. 2020. All Rights Reserved.
In “Embrace of the mountain,” the houses are in a secluded area on the mountain. You showcase the usage of depth through color. Is this a specific location? Have you been to this location?
This is a native village of my friend in Slovakia.
“Quo vadis.” ©. 2020. All Rights Reserved.
Are there any misconceptions about your artwork that you’d like to talk about? What’s the true story about your artwork?
I have the impression that people understand what I want to convey with my artwork. In my artistic quest, I have always wondered how to paint LIFE, how to express that volcano that inhabits me, how to arose in others the same feelings that animate me as an artist. I am constantly exploiting different techniques in order to find the best way how to express human joy, sadness, dreams, or deceptions.
What artists do you admire?
William Turner and Zao Wou-Ki.
Which medium do you prefer to use the most?
Depending on my mood and inspiration, either stain glass paint or pastels.
What was the best feedback anyone ever given you after looking at your work?
You paint with your heart!
If you want to contact Zdenka Palkovic or be updated on her upcoming projects, here’s her contact information:
Artland. Zdenka Palkovic. 2021.
Artavita. Zdenka Palkovic. 2021.
Palkovic, Zdenka. Facebook. Zdenka Palkovic. 2021.
Palkovic, Zdenka. Zdenka Palkovic. 2021.
Palkovic, Zdenka. Instagram. 2021.