She grows rust at home and paints with it

Natália Šimonová announced the winner of the Painting 2020 competition.

Natália Šimonová: Reťazák, winner of the competition Painting 2020Natália Šimonová: Reťazák, winner of the competition Painting 2020 (Source: VÚB Foundation )

The 15th year of the 2020 Painting competition by the VÚB Foundation has announced its winners.

The international jury decided that the top winner is Natália Šimonová. She applied to the competition for the first time, the Sme daily reported.

The winning painting is from a series named Post Structure. It is painted with rust, catching the attention of the jury.

Rust as a colour? Why not!

Rust resembles something old, decrepit, lonely or ugly, something that can make a person very dirty.

But young artist Natália Šimonová swears by this “dirty work.” She used rust when painting quite often and that is why she is growing it on her own.

“Some people grow flowers and I have been growing rust on metal sheets for several years,” she said, as quoted by Sme.

“I water it regularly and I try to create suitable conditions so the rust will be fresh,” she explains. “If it is not fresh, it will not create a print and it cannot be scraped off properly,” Šimonová explained.

After scraping rust becomes a fully-fledged painting material, which the artist combines with pastel, acryl or pigment. When necessary, she does not hesitate searching for rust at the local dump.

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“I need a lot of it, huge amounts of rust,” the artist said, as quoted by Sme. “When I scrape it off, I get rusty powder, which is then etched by various chemicals and I create such mixture so I can paint with brushes,” Šimonová added.

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Rust is a living organism, she said, sometimes it falls off the painting, sometimes it grows. “It is very dirty work, but I cannot work cleanly. I work very impulsively,” she added.

Her work can be seen in the Bratislava gallery of Nedbalka until November 22, in accordance with safety measures.

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