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Process of renovation

(4th in a series of five–Written in Poland 13 March 2010)

Interview with Jurek Ludwikowski:

First, look at the frame itself and imagine which picture it will fit and the right period and color. Imagine a hidden image. For example, the frame near the dining room has a lot of brown in it and silver, old silver on the edges.

Secondly, look at the quality of wood—what can be improved and renovated Once you decide to renovate a frame, you must be very careful because when you renovate a frame, you change the character of a frame. He has to change anyway, but you want to change it without losing the essence of the frame, without changing the soul of a frame.

For example, Impressionist painters like to have Baroque-style frames. But you must also keep the differentiation between the painting and frame—consider the tone and color of the painting and the tone and color of the frame, as well as the paspartout. There is a separation between the expression of the painting and the expression of the frame. This separation is important

What is the soul of a frame? It’s not just the frame; the interaction of the paspartout plus frame plus picture, all of this together is the soul.

Here is an example of the process: I bought a painting that expressed a classical idea. Would this fit in a normal frame? So I asked myself, “What can I do?” I decided to extend the picture. I used the paspartout to put an oval painting into a square frame. The painting itself is highly symbolist, it’s expressing something of high quality.

Art and imagination, the combination is so important!

This painting was a coincidence. I went to a framing store in Brussels, and decided what they were asking for was ridiculously expensive and I could do it himself in my own workshop, since he I the tools.

Look at the framework. Ask what the connection is between the frame and the picture. Keep the soul of the painting.

Is there a golden rule, what sets you apart from bad renovators? I don’t differentiate—I use different sources. What you are doing with poetry, I do here. I spend hours to bring more feeling—it’s the same process as asking over and over again, what am I really trying to say? It’s a matter of interpretation; you and I just use different materials.

What is art? Beauty is intellectual (K: it has to do with the associations), but a decorator is fighting for his own beauty; a combination between humanism and softness, this is beauty.

How do you feel when you get it just right, the right combination of frame and picture? I always have a “but” to my own work. Never satisfied. I could always do better.

To create beauty is the highest motive in life. I have failed a lot of the time; it’s a matter of emotion, that of the creator, and that of the person who sees the final version. It’s a combination of work, emotion, and intellectualism (associations).

Art is the element of two creators:  the one who gives, and the one who receives.

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