“I’ve worked with glass for about 10 years. I would say glass is the most challenging material I know and requires extreme patience,” says Ukrainian artist Katerina Ganchak, “The challenge is totally worth it—glass will always surprise you a little bit with the result.”
Ganchak’s result is a collection of mesmerizing, delicate glass sculptures and paintings that have been carefully gathered at Java Studios Gallery (252 Java Street, Suite 308) for Ganchak’s latest solo exhibition, titled “Just Feel,” opening this Friday (6/20) at 6 p.m. Greenpointers went ahead and asked the personal questions…
GP: How do you fix your mistakes when you work with glass?
Katerina: When I sculpt my piece from clay and create molds, I can correct myself easier in the process. But, while blowing or casting glass—you basically get one shot at it. Cold working a sculpture, for example cutting, grinding, and polishing, also requires skills and practice, as glass is fragile and sharp.
GP: Where is your studio and what do you like about it?
Katerina: My studio is located on Java Street in Greenpoint. I have been working there about a year and a half. I am really happy with my space. It’s a very light and sunny studio, and that’s exactly what I need to work comfortably. The sky dominates my view through the window, and the busy city is left behind. It’s the most peaceful place I find myself during the day, as I work alone in my studio and am surrounded by things that inspire me and projects I am working on.
GP: Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Katerina: I am a morning daylight person, and I work better when the sun is up.
GP: How long have you lived in New York?
Katerina: Three years.
GP: Have you found a favorite spot yet?
Katerina: I love lots of places in New York. Most of it is incredibly inspiring. I love being in the city by the waterfront, whether in Chelsea, Battery Park or Brooklyn Bridge Park. I like the combination of the city energy and the power and silence of water.
GP: Of all the work in your upcoming show, what is the piece that you’d least like to part with?
Katerina: Probably the sculpture I least want to part with is ‘Break Thru.’ It consists of many tiny details, and it took a couple of months to actually put it all together. This work inspired me for the next couple of sculptures.
GP: Is there an artist you admire?
Katerina: Recently, I discovered a Swedish glass artist, Paul Schwieder, who makes amazing sculptures. As a painter, I am deeply inspired by Fransis Bacon’s paintings and the beautifully disturbing paintings by Zdzislaw Beksinski. I’ve also always loved H. R. Giger’s sculptures.
GP: What is the last exhibition that you’ve gone to see?
Katerina: I recently visited Los Angeles, and went to The Los Angeles County Museum of Art. I was fascinated with Alexander Calder’s large collection. I never saw so many of his works live. I always appreciate artwork that leaves a very strong emotional impression.
“Just Feel” opens this Friday, June 20th at 6 p.m. and continues through July 7th at Java Studios Gallery (252 Java Street, Suite 308) in Greenpoint. For more of Katerina Ganchak’s work, visit her website at www.katerinaganchak.com, follow her on Twitter @katerinaganchak, or Instagram at Katerina_Ganchak