Apex Magazine is honored to once again feature artist Adrian Borda’s work as the cover piece for this month’s issue. Borda’s surreal figurative art was last featured on the cover of our April 2015 issue, and this month’s gorgeous Klimt-inspired piece wonderfully captures Borda’s unique vision.
APEX MAGAZINE: On the DeviantArt page for “My Summer Wine,” you asked the community for feedback and a critique of the piece. Did you find the insight from other users helpful, challenging, or a bit of both? What is the value of getting a more thorough response, something more than simply, “we love it?”
ADRIAN BORDA: I very carefully read all opinions about my work, and as long as they are constructive it always helps. Sometimes I post the paintings online before I finish them, and a fresh eye can come up with very good suggestions that would help me finish it and make it better.
AM: You mention on the DeviantArt page for the piece that it is strongly influenced by Gustav Klimt, and I recently read that three of his works were considered “pornographic” in his lifetime. Even here at the beginning of 2017, Facebook censored a photograph of a 16th century Italian statue of Neptune due to nudity. Have you run into similar comments about any of your pieces, or even censorship of your work? How would you approach a situation where someone wants to censor your work?
AB: I find quite hopeless the war against the people who are offended by a few pixels on the screen that can be interpreted as a nipple. I love figurative art, and the human body is the ultimate tool for expression. My work is not very explicit, but was reported a few times and received a few comments. But some have mental problems, and have an affinity for uncanny work as mine.
AM: Those three pieces by Klimt were destroyed by the SS in 1945 as German forces retreated, and only photos of the originals remain. Does the internet essentially allow your images to exist forever, avoiding the fate of Klimt’s pieces? Are there any emotional differences between your actual canvas and the images of it that appear online, either for you or the viewer?
AB: The internet can assure a pretty strong backup, but I’m not sure that it can survive a solar storm that can send us back into a pre-industrial age. Sure, I believe everybody prefers to see the original, it has a totally different quality that cannot be felt in the digital image. But the idea that is the most important is the soul—I see it as an incarnation in the collective cultural background, it remains and can be transmitted to millions of people.
AM: Your featured photography, such as “The Joy of Life,” is a nice accent to your painted works, and each image seems to have a strong vision behind it. When you are heading out the door to take photos, do you have a specific idea or image in mind, or is it more open to finding the right image as you go?
AB: It depends. I love to experiment a lot. Sometimes I have a very clear idea in my mind, but I always play and just explore new perspectives. Or I just make stock images of beautiful and interesting stuff, without a clear idea of the final result, that I will edit and combine later if the inspiration comes. In the case of the photo “The Joy of Living,” that is a macro of a group of mushrooms. I had a very clear idea of what I had in mind, and the Laowa Venus 15mm macro lens had just arrived, a very specialized ultrawide macro lens. I rushed to test it and make as many stock photos as possible, because it was in the last days of autumn and all the vegetation was dying.
AM: With a large DeviantArt gallery such as yours, it is fascinating to follow the progression of art styles and techniques over time. What do you feel has changed the most with your art over time, either in technique or how you approach your art?
AB: Yes, there were many changes over time. I tend to delete old images that I find embarrassing as I evolve, unfortunately in painting techniques I didn’t make significant progress over time, maybe because I neglected it. I focused on photography for a few years, but I’ve started to paint more and more lately. I tend to be more conceptual, less commercial, and I enjoy simpler ideas.
The bigger evolution was in photography, where I can experiment with a huge number of images in a short amount of time. I evolved in processing, and got specialized equipment. Many say that I invented the ultrawide macro blended into the background. But I made very few images like that, because it requires a lot of post processing. I need to experiment much more in that direction, that is a totally unexplored perspective. I hope that the evolution in photography will help me a lot in painting, it helped me mature my eye, and I got a much deeper understanding of the visual perception and its problems.
AM: Many thanks to Adrian Borda for his fascinating answers, and make sure to visit borda.deviantart.com for more of his unique art and photography.