Artist Danka Weitzen not only paints with her eyes, but also with her heart. She captures her floral subjects so exquisitely that the viewer can almost feel the soft petals and smell the flower's fragrance.
Born in Lodz, Poland to a Polish father and an Italian mother, the family moved to Torino, Italy when Danka was a child and lived in the Palazzo Reale di Torino. She attended the Accademia Albertina Art Institute in Torino, and had her first art exhibit after graduating from high school at Ars Plauda Gallery in Torino in 1969. Since then, she has exhibited her work in Holland, Egypt, Malta, Germany, Spain, United States, Bulgaria, Poland, Costa Rica, Kenya, Ethiopia, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland, and France. In 2003, she was invited to participate in a major art exhibition on Napoleon, in part she said because she has a maternal ancestor that served as a marshal under Napoleon Bonaparte, thus creating interest from art critics as well as historians. Danka's next exhibit at the Robert Paul Galleries in Stow, Vermont, in the United States, takes place from July 21-29, 2007, where she will exhibit 19 of her most recent paintings.
Danka has a permanent exhibit in Europe at the Galerie d'Art - ART PASSION in Saint Paul-de-Vence, France; and in the United States, her work is exhibited at Galleria Bella in New Orleans, Louisiana; Fine Art Liaison in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania; Marlin Art in Deer Park, New York; and at Robert Paul Galleries in Stowe, Vermont.
Le Rose Bianche
Her collectors list is an impressive "Who's Who" of celebrities and royalty, counting among her many prestigious collectors Marcello Mastrianni, Conte Dino Barra Cacacciolo, Marchesa Maria Laura Cordero di Pamparato, Marchesi Solari del Borgo, Principessa Roza von Furstenberg, Principessa Tomasi de Lampedusa, Barnonin Von Nostitz, and many others.
Le Radici Nell Acqua
I, too, am a collector of Danka's work, and what I especially appreciate about her work is that she not only captures the essence of her subjects, be it flowers, animals, or portraits, is that her paintings are highly evocative, recalling distant memories while at the same time, creating new memories for the owner. She creates little vignettes, because the term still life does not seem adequate, using antiques, china, and lace that she has in her home, her cats appear in her paintings, she uses flowers she picked from her garden or sometimes "borrowed" from a neighbor's garden, or picked while out walking, and her paintings are almost voyeuristic memories into her life. Although realistically rendered, the paintings have a very attractive almost dreamlike quality that draws the viewer into her world. Danka explained that she likes to think that the person who acquires her paintings will not just have a canvas, but also something that is given directly to him or her; that the paintings not only represent something, but that they also convey feelings, a state of mind, a particular moment, and sharing choices.
Although she is inspired by Caravaggio, when I asked Danka if she could paint with any artist, living or dead, she replied that she would have liked to have painted with Artemisia Gentileschi, an early Italian Baroque painter (1593-1653), who broke the female artist barrier by becoming the first female member of the Accademia di Arte del Disegro.
La Teiera e le Rose
Together with her artist husband, Guido Borelli, Danka lives high in the hills of Torino, where her passions include painting, gardening, cooking, and spoiling their seven cats. Asked what she would do if she was not an artist, she replied that she would like to be a photographer, writer, or to create handbags. In a way, she is both photographer and writer, realistically telling her stories on canvas. As for the handbags, I know that should she ever decide to paint and craft handbags, I will be the first one standing in line to buy one.
Il Boccale di Birra
For more information on Danka Weitzen, as well as upcoming shows, and galleries that carry her paintings, please visit: www.guidoborelli.com/danka.
© July 2007. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com All rights reserved.