Many might have come across Ona Sadkowsky’s art in one way or another, either randomly or through her interesting artist family heritage. Her urban inspired artworks certainly enjoy a high recognition value.

In either way, her art, ambition and way of thinking sparked my interest for an interview. We met at the lovely Foxx Gallery by Claudine Francine Bandi on Rämistrasse, where Ona’s works are currently exhibited until the 15.04.2017. Dressed in total black, and with her dogs we spent an inspirational afternoon

How did art come into your life? Your art has a comic character, yet also conveys something thoughtful. Are there any comics which influenced your work while growing up?

Ona: To be frank, I never read comics, but cartoons I spent time watching certainly where an influence: especially Tom & Jerry & Bugs Bunny. Also, it started of from drawing with pencil personal occurrences in the family such as giving birth.

Your artworks convey a frivolity, playfulness but also a thoughtful, serious character. Would you describe yourself this way? 

In one way or another I feel comfortable with myself and my body, however the “helmet” on my artworks symbolises a self-reflection and a “shield for the outer world”. It shall portrait a strong woman, which wants to achieve her goals, stays true to herself but does not reveal everything about herself and who goes her own way.

Do you feel that the Swiss market here is still a late adopter and that it is sometimes conservative for urban art? What do you think view on street art in Zurich? 

There is potential for more street art. I definitely do not applied any illegal street art on the streets of the city, but I have done commissioned work on facades and walls.

Given that your art works portrait you and are a young artist, what do you think of the whole selfie & narcissism generation on Instagram as well as over sexualisation . Is this something which influences your works or yourself as an artist? 

I’m very sceptical on that. Of course I do take selfies but just for myself.  I share it but not “en masse” ☺ . Surely likes & followers are important but it still works also differently: artists with successful art can also manage differently without over exposing themselves

Which other cities you would like to experience and create in? 

I certainly would love to experience and create in Los Angeles as well as New York. Definitely at some point in both markets.

Jean-Michel Basquiat or Keith Haring made it without art school. Do you think it’s important to have a solid art education to be a successful artist? 

I think it’s not a must to go into art education. I decided against it cause I didn’t want to be formed, but rather follow my intuition and inspiration. Definitely what is an advantage of education might be the network you get and an easier access to galleries (just an example!), however it also works without it, you just have to be patient and might need more time.

Andy Meets Warhol is inspired by Andy Warhol. What artwork of Andy comes first to your mind. Do you draw parallels to your art cooperation with several brands? 

I really like Andy Warhol and the soup cans are the first thing which come to my mind. They are pop, colourful.

Andy Warhol started including everyday objects in his work of art. You have started commissioned work with some of the most reputable Swiss brands such as Coop. How much will you focus on gallery work vs. work for brands. (Ona created a temporary cool, affordable supermarket bag, which are also sustainable, it was printed over 1 million times) 

I think a healthy middle way is what it takes. I do not want to turn commercial and want to act and be an independent artist.  I complete such projects, also commercial ones, however it is important for the collector/ client to know that it is a limited edition such as “Ona for XY“ oder “Ona feat. XY“.

Until when can people view your work and what other plans do you have for this year?

People can visit my works at Foxx Gallery until 15.04. Also I will take part in the Lausanne Art Fair and there is also planned a big solo show in the end of the year. Already started with the preps.

Pictures: Christian Schwarz


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