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Hello! I am Lívia Vereščáková

Where are you from? What are you doing in Amsterdam?

I am from Sečovce, a little town in Slovakia. I was studying restoration and conservation at high school in Košice, the closest big city from my hometown. I spent a lot of time by learning how to paint like old masters, how to restore the artworks and how to be, in general, a very precise and detail oriented artist. In order for me to develop my skills and find my own style, I decided to further my education. Currently, I am studying painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Banska Bystrica. This department opened an unknown door for me and also helped me to free my hand and also my mind.

Due to COVID-19, I was studying the whole year from home. I was ready to try 2 months Erasmus+ Traineeship experience in order to learn how it's like to be an independent artist or to find out how independent museum like SAMA works. My dream destination was Amsterdam because of its richness, history and freedom in art.

Can you tell something about the place where you come from?

The place where I normally live is very tiny and not very rich from aesthetic point of view. We had a beautiful historical square in the past, but it was all destroyed by communists in 1968. Panorama of the city is mostly about houses, blocks of flats and a few historical buildings. Most people think that this town is a dump, that there is no culture, no happiness, no art. There is, but you have to dig very deep to find it and also, you have to look for a beauty in little things.

Our town is mostly known for its part which is very similar to Favela in Rio de Janeiro. Going through this part or talking to people from there can teach you a lot, either the pain in their eyes or the joy from little things. As I was saying, our town is not aesthetically beautiful but from the artistic point of view, it is.

My favourite part of Sečovce is definitely an abandoned train station. It is a quiet place with a beautiful landscape, so you just need some food, beers and you have as good vibes as near the canal of the beautiful Amsterdam center (almost).

What is your favourite activity/ the things you like to do during your free time?

My favourite activity is of course, painting, what saved me a lot during this hard year full of lockdowns. I love trying new techniques and also improving my theoretical and practical skills in art. But as a normal person, I really appreciate going out with my friends or just chilling with my boyfriend. Time to time, I need a pure chill but I am a very active person, so even when I am chilling I have to do something productive for my mind.

What fascinates you the most about the city? About nieuw west?

I can say out loud that it's a completely different world from my country. I love the freedom and serenity of this city, but also madness of its nightlife. Amsterdam is very multicultural and you can see it clearly on its art richness and diversity. I think that living and working at this place for 2 months can totally change my way of seeing art and life in general. I can proudly say, that I like Nieuw West more than a center of the city. You can see the reality of the living in this part of the town, and also a SAMA’s lust to beautify the living in this suburb with street art.

What is your relation to street art? Art in general?

My relation to street art started 2 years ago, when we began to learn about contemporary art at high school. It was something new and unique for me. I went from a Rembrandt to Basquiat real quick. I still appreciate old masters but street art was more catchy for my crazy persona. Last year of high school and the lessons about contemporary art totally changed my mind from detail oriented artist to more free artist. I am always dealing with some problems with excessive precision and I think that being in the middle of street art world can be very inspirational for me.

In your opinion what's the most interesting aspect of Street Art?

The most interesting aspect of street art is, that it is not the art in a classical sense. It is on the streets not in the museum, and the mission of every street art is to spread its meaning to everyone everyday. Some people are taking art as something that has to be aesthetically pleasing, but the street art mission is not to be beautiful, it is only a bonus to a message of the piece.

What are your responsibilities at SAMA?

I am very thankful for the opportunity to work with independent museum like SAMA. As an future artist, it is very improving for me to know how museum like this works and how it is to be an artist in real tough life. I hope that I will help SAMA with my practical skills, but also with my passion for art as a guide during tours through their street art collection. My responsibilities are extending to social media and a blog too, so I can enrich my mind with new informations and also enrich you, with interesting close ups to the Street art underworld.

Do you have a favourite artist in the SAMA collection?

It is pretty hard to choose one artist between all the incredible artists that SAMA worked with, so I have to mention at least two of them. I chose a Btoy as my favourite female street artist, because of woman power in all her artworks. I love her authentic technique,occasional provoking and also powerful figures she’s choosing. The second one is male street artist El Pez. As I have very positive and energetic personality, Pez’s work is my cup of coffee. I adore his happy smiling fish, which is spreading happiness all over the world.

What interests you the most in the concept of SAMA

SAMA is completely different from other museums. There is no particular building in which they have their collection and also, their artworks are living their own organic life. They are getting older and older, colours are fading away, the plaster is falling off. Relationship and interaction between the organism and environment, as it is with every real street art in a whole world. In a regular museum, they are checking the condition of the artworks and restoring them all the time, but SAMA is still keeping it real as it is a street art museum. You have a lot of places that are calling themselves street art or graffiti museums, but if it is in the building, how can you call it street art? It is pleasing to see that there are always authentic and unique museums like SAMA.

Which artwork of the SAMA collection do you like the most?

My favourite one is definitely Glory by Pez & Recal. I chose this one because it reminds me of my “art life”, as I was studying restoration and now painting: more free and crazy department. I love the connection between baroque and contemporary art these two created and how funny, provocative and positive the result of this connection is.

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kalb gwen
kalb gwen
Aug 09, 2021

Graffiti was first born in North America in the 1960s. After a short period of development, it quickly spread to all over the world. It was widely disseminated as street art and loved by young people around the world. Graffiti culture is a form of contemporary young people’s release of their inner rebellion, a form of proclaiming their inner heart, and a catharsis of their attitude towards life. In the end, it is intended to be a spiritual product of rebellion against traditional culture.

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