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MUNTHE ART MONDAY: ALEXANDRA KARPILOVSKI

Name: Alexandra Karpilovski
Instagram: @karpilovski

Please introduce yourself and tell us about what you do.

My name is Alexandra Karpilovski, I was born in Kyiv, Ukraine in 1988 and emigrated to Sweden together with my family in 1991. I am a multi-disciplinary artist living between Bergamo and Stockholm. I work with painting, text and poetry, performance, installations, and sculpture. Recently, I have been busy with painting and being in my studio. I also do illustrations for different commissioned work. For me it is really liberating not to limit myself and allow myself to work in different fields and with other people as well. Sometimes it can feel confusing, but it also feels like a privilege that I get to do that and live the way I do.

Could you explain more about how being a woman has affected your career?

This was something I really had to think about, it brought up some memories of unfortunate situations from when I was just starting out as an artist. I feel like I have been forced to prove myself in situations where perhaps it wouldn’t have been necessary for a male artist, treated in certain ways or not being taken as seriously as I believe I should have been. I have also been in positions where I had to decline work related to my art and possibilities that were taken away because of certain situations that occurred and deal with expectations absolutely not related to my art practice. But I also think in recent years a lot is changing, there is a bigger force to bring female artists forward.

Can you name some other female (artist) that inspires you and explain why do they do so?

So many amazing female artists that paved the way in times that were less open-minded. And still do. I am inspired by fearlessness even when fear is involved, by sensitivity and sensibility, by humor in relation to seriousness, the lust of creation and great minds. Some of these female artists to name a few are Tracey Emin, Isadora Duncan, Miriam Cahn, Niki de Saint Phalle, Marie-Louise Ekman, Kira Muratova, Maria Primachenko, and Lydia Lunch.

What has been the most challenging aspect of being a female artist?

To let go of expectations, to not blame myself. I guess to continue to believe in myself, and to realize that I do not need to prove anything, I just need to continue to work and to do what I love. Also, I guess something I’m still learning is to set boundaries and be harder sometimes, not take on too much and to be more forgiving of myself.

What would you like people to notice in your artwork?

For me a huge aspect of my work, especially when it comes to painting and writing, is the need and search for connection. I would hope that people can find a sense of serenity in my work, a place for contemplation and relaxation, humor and relatedness to their own life and emotions.

I hope my work can make people feel good, make them laugh, and remember something in their past or present. The female figures in the paintings are not there for the pleasure of others, they just are, and they can be there to relate.