Interview with Peter Baran "REGULAR CONCRETE"

Hello Peter! Tell us a little about yourself. How did you become an artist?


I am a sculptor, working exclusively with concrete. It all started in London in 2018, when I was studying film and television production course at the University of The Arts, LCC. It was more about management in the film and TV industry, but London has magical power where you realise anything is possible and you can be anybody and do anything. The London mindset with my deep repressed thoughts of doing art came together and paved the way for me to make me an artist.


At what point were you interested in pop art and why did you decide to create works in this style?


I believe that this is the combination of me being born and growing up in the Eastern Europe and the social situation in the late 90s in Slovakia (and the Eastern Europe in general). Where you could really feel the power and the status of certain brands and objects which were not achievable for the majority of population. This made me more conscious about the objects around me, despite their purpose of serving the one's needs, they were carrying also the status in the part of the world where I was growing up. It is still the same today, but not on such a brutal scale as it was back then.


You work with concrete. Why did you choose this material? Have you experimented with other materials?


Concrete is the material of my childhood, which was very visible everywhere, it is a classless material, the most used material in the world created by humans and it makes it the perfect material to capture the human world. Therefore there was no need to me to experiment with the other material as concrete made the most sense to me. Indeed I did experiment a lot with the concrete itself. What you will see in my works is not any ordinary type of a concrete mixture. It is a normal concrete mixture by 90% and the other 10% are admixtures which I have tested for more than a year in the UK to find out which works the best. Because the mixtures you can buy at the construction shops were never meant to be used on such a small scale as the sculptures I make. There are a few brands of an "art concrete" on the market, but to me creating my own concrete mixture also meant to make my work more mine. It is a signature touch which makes it more exclusive.

Your work is done without adding color. At what point did you decide to make the sculptures solid colors?


To keep it as a "raw building material" - as the pure concrete grey colour creates questions. People usually imagine concrete as something big and rough and extremely heavy and in my works you can find this "material stereotype" broken. As what you will see and experience is something small and relatively light with many details and a fine finish. I do plan to make limited editions of a few pieces in different colours, but to keep the concrete grey ones available. Even now the works are limited as there will never be more than 40 pieces produced each year from a single sculpture.


Is there any message in your works? What thoughts should they evoke in the viewer’s mind? What is the «REGULAR CONCRETE» Peter Baran artist trying to tell us in his works?


The ideas are forever. My sculptures are resembling objects, which served purpose and the most of them are now useless as the purpose which they served is not needed anymore because we humans have build an upgrades of them. The new objects are built on the ideas of the old objects - what makes them carrying this old idea forevers and this goes on and on. Capturing these ideas in concrete makes them to exist beyond their lifespan as objects. That fascinates me, even if I would die tomorrow, they would still be here and if kept in interior and not destroyed by force, they have potential to exist for thousands of years.


Tell us about your creative plans in the future.


My plan is to create a series of small sculptures inspired by buildings and automotive. I have received a residency in Paris and the outcome of the residence will be a series of 2-3 small sculptures inspired brutalist buildings in Paris. This is the future for the next approximately 12 months. In the long term my goal is to create a large scale concrete sculpture which would be accessible by public - I have a concrete concrete idea but this takes more planning with the city and sponsors, but let's hope for it to happen. But I do not want to tell more about the idea, until it will be ready to be shown :)

Text by Lyubov Melnickowa @lumenicka