Mira Makai: Lost And Found

Mira Makai

Artwork’s Title: Lost and found

Materials Used: Acrylic on canvas

Studio Based: Tóalmás, Hungary

Mira Makai, Lost and found 2020, acryl on canvas, 150 x 108 cm

Can you tell us about the process of making your work?

My paintings and sculptures are based on compositional and colour studies what I usually made with wax pastels and pencils. I like to focus on the action between the figures which is always due to the desired objects.

I paint on the wall generally, and I stretch my canvasses later after they already dried. I use the paint in several layers which are resulting in varied surfaces and brighter colour intensity.

How would you define your work in a few words (ideally in 3 words)?

Playful, some kind of infantile, vivid.

How did you come up with this new painting idea? Is there any story behind this work?

I made abstract lithographs and paintings during my university years. I used there the same structures and colour surfaces in a different way. On that point when I started to work with figural sculptures, I went back to work with canvases and acryl paint again.

My figural paintings and sculptures based on my personal interest originally. I spent my time with sculpting mini-figures from my well-known animations and comics characters before. As I enjoy a lot to sculpting my own Venusaur as others put together different Lego sets or space ship models. After that recognition, I realized that I have to build this feeling to my art practice also because it will make every artwork much more interesting and personal for me. I started to find my own characters or stories behind each piece and built up a universe with my own gestures. This is the story behind that figural painting, everything started with my small fan art figures that line up on my shelves.

Nowadays I begin to expand my sources, I gather inspiration and incorporate certain motifs into my toolbox from the colours of the current running shoe fashion, the pop-cultural fragments, the 3d environment, imaginary creatures, and the atmosphere of computer games, which I am well known for my leisure recreation.

Do specific artworks have been created by random experiments in your studio or do you always come up with a particular concept or narrative in the very beginning?

I experiment a lot with materials and often acting spontaneously, but sometimes in certain work processes, especially when I work on installations, I can not change my idea during the process, because too many components have to fit within an artwork.

Is there any particular theme that utterly triggers you to engage your art with?

Usually, I watch animated series or playing with tabletop role-playing games or online MMORPG-s. I am interested in the contemporary streetwear fashion releases and some interesting colourways can be a starting point of my new works.

Large or small scale canvases dilemma; are there any kind of standards that drive you to decide which surface length is better fitted for your final painting visualisations?

The larger size is more inspiring to me. I work with large surfaces and large patches of colours because the big size allows the formed structures to stand alone or meet each other and create an abstract-like feeling, even if it’s a figural painting. It’s always possible to make some smaller pieces in the near future. 

What would be the best way to exhibit your work?

In my last show, I exhibited the works in different groups in separate rooms. It was a fortunate situation with a well-distributed exhibition space, so I was able to present the diversity of my works. In addition, I am also interested in how these works can be exhibited in a single industrial space. How can I work with paintings and ceramic installations in one large space, this question is very exciting for me. I started to plan a show with a non-profit gallery, and I would like to find the best results.

Can you mention any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?

One of my favourites is Louise Bourgeois. Her exhibition (Structures of existence: The cells) in Munich, at the Haus der Kunst, made a very big impression on me.  The variety of used materials and the self-mythologizing installations were impressive and stunning.

Georg Baselitz is the second on my list. His loose attitude and his large-scale works are very inspiring to me.

Do you ever wonder if additional work was needed, when an artwork’s making process is finished?

Never, I like it if the artwork is easy and simple.

During the workflow, I always have a lot of new ideas, but I do not want to overwhelm my current artwork. Because of that, I like to work with ceramic, after a time you can not resculpting that. I keep those ideas for next artworks in the row, so I can spare with the inspiration:)

What about the place where you work? What’s your studio space look like?

I work in the countryside, my studio is located next to a forest, in Pest county. I love the silence here and the squirrels who dig hazelnuts in the garden.

My studio place is big enough to work with different materials simultaneously, this is the main advantage of this rural place. I like my studio to be as organized as possible, I store my ceramics on metal shelves, I collect separately my different glazes, sculpting tools and paintings. 

What does your mum think about your art?

If she were an artist, she wouldn’t do that kind of work, I’m sure of that. Even though our pictorial taste doesn’t match, she tries to be very accepting and supportive with me and my work.

Which exhibition did you visit last?

I visited the Sean Scully: Passenger – A Retrospective exhibition at the Hungarian National Gallery a few months ago. Unfortunately at the moment the museums and cultural institutions are closed in Hungary.

Which are your plans for the near future?

At the moment I am working on a large scale ceramic installations. I look forward to it being finished it will be a new way for me to make artworks with clay. In addition in this artworks, I will paint more new canvasses because I really enjoy the work with them.

The life in the artworld slowed down a bit, but I feel myself in a lucky situation because I have lots to do even these times.

Additional Images

Mira Mikai, No Mans Land I, ceramic installation, 80 x 80 x 30 cm
Mira Makai, Chasing the ball, 2020, acryl on canvas, 150 x 108 cm
Mira Makai, Unseen creatures, solo show, 2018, Art + Text Gallery, Budapest
Mira Makai, Green Genie, glazed ceramic, 2020, 40 x 40 x 50 cm



All images are courtesy of the artist

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