MY EUROPE:  ANNA CHROMY

Born on the banks of the river Moldava, which links my birthplace Cesky Krumlov with Prague, I am a child of the city. Beautiful Renaissance castles and Baroque churches left their mark when I was a little girl. When we had to leave our country, my last, and most emotional adieu, was from my friends in stone on famous Charles Bridge.
My youth in Salzburg and Vienna in Austria left me with a mother tongue and a passport for life, which bears next to the denomination of the country the title “European Union”.

The last of four girls, I was the only one to have inherited the artistic talent of my father. His music never ceased to keep me company and influenced the first subjects of my work. Although I started out sketching and drawing at a very early age my family did not have the means to send me to art school. This had to wait until I arrived with my husband in Paris. A whole new world overwhelmed my senses,- the Louvre, la “Civilisation Francaise” with their writers and existentialist philosophers, foreign artists like Dalì and Picasso, who had chosen the “City of Lights” as their home. I had to transform this shock into paintings if I did not want to implode. So I decided to attend the Beaux Arts and Academy de la Grande Chaumière, both close to each other on the left bank of the River Seine.

Because of my three-dimensional way to draw my professors tried soon to direct me towards sculpture, but to no avail. I wanted to paint and nothing else. But whatever influence I received in Paris, my Central European heritage came soon to the surface. The surrealism of Max Ernst, René Magritte, and Salvador Dali, my first great love in painting, gave gradually way to a more visionary approach, using soft, turner like, colors, close to Czech and Slovak artists and the Vienna school of “Phantastic Realists”

But life is unpredictable and often cruel. So it happened that a severe accident prevented me from painting for six years, and as I don’t have a temperament to remain idle at last I decided to try sculpture. By chance I had by that time established my home on the Côte d’Azur close to the Italian border. Therefore the center of sculpture in Pietrasanta and Carrara was in easy reach. In Italy I had immediately the feeling to encounter again parts of my roots,- a strong religious belief, a country where life is a stage, and which abounds in artistic treasures wherever you put your feet.

Anna Chromy at workLife had come full circle. Beauty was reaffirming itself in an almost mystical way. Ancient Greece and Rome, the Renaissance and Baroque of the Medici and the Popes, everything seemed to tell me “Anna don’t relent; fight evil and ugliness through inspired beauty. Go back to the roots of Europe, to the Ancient Myths and the salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ”.  The “Cloak of Conscience”, the “Challenge” or “Olympic Spirit”, the “Transformation of Euridice”, the “Sisyphus” and “Ulysses”, all part of the exhibition “Mythos Revisited”, first shown at the National Archeological Museum in Athens, and the contemporary interpretation of the myth of “ Europe”  stand witness to my beliefs.

ANNA CHROMY