Katka Hubacek

  • Illustrations
  • Mixed Media
  • Painting
  • Sculpture

My primary medium is oil and acrylic paint on canvas. Through layering gentle washes, bold strokes, and clear renderings, my work explores the struggles of women who are also mothers and our search for fulfillment. More specifically, many of my paintings explore the roles that define, bind, and hold women back – how women are limited by society’s construction of womanhood and how we limit ourselves within those constraints. Through painting, I seek to reveal the complexities of being a woman and mother, giving voice to their struggles, where tenderness and softness collide with violence and darkness.

In my case, becoming a mother created conflict in my identity: can I be both woman-as-mother, who is a selfless giver, and woman-as-artist, who is a self-centered creator? This crisis led me to fully embrace becoming a painter three years ago as a mature woman. My work is deeply inspired by the expressionism movement. My first artistic love, Gauguin, still inspires me: his soft brushstrokes and rich color palettes. Contemporary artists such as Jennifer Packer and Jenny Saville are but two of the incredibly inspirational artists willing to dive deep into the human experience.

My practice consists of bravely approaching the canvas and allowing courage and vulnerability to take control. I trust my skill to render the ideas and emotions I’m exploring as if the canvas were my private journal. In my paintings, female forms are bathed with soft brushstrokes and washes to convey a sense of emotion and tenderness. These are interrupted by bold colors, harsh tones, and sharp brushwork. My use of opposing painting techniques, color palettes, and styles symbolizes the conflict I see and feel in contemporary ideas of womanhood/motherhood – the pressure to be gentle yet bold, fragile yet strong, self-assured yet selfless.

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