Interview with Bart Hajduk

In this Mondays’ artist interview MiAL chats to Bart Hajduk, a current Camberwell student . Bart wass the artist behind the cover image for our 2014 Summer collection and the amazing video piece ‘Transgalactic Intersexual Experience’ installation at Capsule. Here he was keen to share with us the magical fantasy behind his beautiful work …about erotica, falling in love and how maybe we too can become a princess…

Bart Hajduk - Artist Portrait
Bart Hajduk, Camberwell College of Art and Design, BA Fine Art Painting 2016

What was the inspiration behind your piece that has become the cover image for the Summer Collection, ‘The Hunt for the Unicorn’?

I was initially inspired by the legends of the unicorn and my own fantasies of becoming a princess and I based those pieces on the 16th Century series of The Unicorn Tapestries. In addition, I get a lot of ideas and excitement from contemporary London nightlife, especially the transvestite and homosexual club scene.

Your work seems to have a very strong classical influence and yet manages to be so playful, even edging on kitsch, how would you describe it?

I’m not so much interested in making paintings, although I would say that my work has some painterly qualities. I would say it’s a combination of  Pierre and Gilles-esque erotic, the camp nature of  films like James Bidgood’s  Pink Narcissus and Jennie Livingston’s ‘Paris is burning’, the fantastical world of Hieronymus Bosch and the playfulness and artificiality found in the video works of Rachel MacLean. There are many influences throughout my work but crucially it is these practitioners who have influenced my style.

Can you tell us more about the worlds you create in your collages? You seem to enjoy inhabiting them!

What inspires me is the joy of creating new worlds filled with different characters that I assume and perform. I later work with and use those characters and various everyday objects to transform them digitally to create beautiful and opulent worlds, effecting in a sort of narrative. I put a great deal of effort into the design of the sets, costumes and props. In the future I would also like to experiment with video or performance to bring them even more to life. I would like the audience to fall in love with the vibrant saturated fantasy of the opulent and artificial world that I have created and also to appreciate the hint of playfulness and eroticism.

Detail from ‘Hunt for the Unicorn 2′ £450

How have you been finding the first year of your BA so far?

I’m originally from Poland and moved to London when I was 18. After some rough times that included squatting and a period of homelessness I started BA degree in painting in Camberwell. I was initially first drawn to UAL because of its reputation and its quality of facilities and teaching. So far I find that the structure of the Fine Art programme suits me well as it allows for experimentation and freedom of practice. I believe that now I have gained the confidence and skills to explore and pursue my ideas.

What do you see next on the horizon for you and your unicorns?

I would like to continue to question the issues of camp and homoeroticism within my work.  And I hope to further explore and play with the concept of digital collage and to translate that to experiment with moving image.