I am Brinn Akervik and a senior at Sartell High School. I have found myself naturally drawn towards artistic expression, especially through visual media,...
Greta Teich: the aura, the vessel, the conscience
February 25, 2019
Greta Teich, the elected “best dressed” senior student and emerging artist of Sartell, describes her style as free form, or fluid, and has recognized herself gravitating towards expressing the emotions felt and confronted through her personal experiences by painting.
To convey these sentiments, Teich proceeds to her basement, the only place in the house where her parents allow wet paint, as it’s possible of staining any surface. For a while, she will sit, contemplating, occasionally turning on music, but dwelling on her experiences from the recent weeks.
She explains, “I reflect on the decisions I’ve made and the things that I’ve said, even the way I have acted and what has affected me from those actions.”
Her experiences and discoveries are prominent throughout her pieces, especially in the concentration she recently finished that focuses on the beauty and power of femininity.
As she composed the works, she devoted herself and her art to know completely what that power holds: “I painted 12 pieces symbolizing the power that women have in society over men, and that women are more powerful than we, or others, view ourselves.”
Teich believes it is equally important to recognize the power women hold and to use it to encourage and uplift others for their accomplishments and achievements. The powerful women that surround her inspire her tremendously in her everyday life.
She continues by saying, “My emotions and experiences are what inspire me most due to the connection I have with them, but the influence of women in my life also encourages me to create a majority of the time.”
Not only do these people and emotions help her to shape her ideas into reality, but looking at works from artists like Francis Bacon, a 20th century painter, has helped Teich find a style she is most comfortable in. One could find similarities between the two artists in the colors, stylization, or even the abstractness used throughout their works.
Teich shares, “I have always been drawn to paintings by Francis Bacon because looking at his life experiences and connecting that to his art, you can really tell how he felt in those situations or what came out of them.”
[You can learn more about Francis Bacon at https://www.francis-bacon.com]
Although she feels she is most attracted to the abstraction generated by the post-modern movement, the idea [from that era] that art doesn’t always have to have a meaning is something she doesn’t completely agree with.
Teich believes the purpose and significance put into a piece of art has to be present to represent something symbolic to her: “I do believe art has to have a meaning, or purpose, to be considered art. That’s what I want people viewing my art to feel. I want them to feel the emotion I put into it.”
She brought up an example of power or strength, and how she wants herself and viewers to apply it to their own experiences, to really connect what purpose a piece of art possesses.
When students approach Teich and strike up a conversation about one of her recent pieces, she learns about contrasting experiences and how they allow unlike people to perceive a piece of art differently or completely the same. These conversations spark her motivation to carry on with creating the art that she does.
Aside from these conversations, painting enables her to focus on something other than her internal problems:
“It doesn’t help with just getting my emotions out and onto a canvas, it’s calming and reassuring, even if I am the most stressed out, and it helps pass the time. Four hours could feel like fifteen minutes when I’m painting and I enjoy that alone time a lot.”
However, painting isn’t always the stress reliever Teich needs. The class she pursued was a semester-long and requires students to finish sixteen pieces within the first quarter, and nine pieces within the second quarter to perfect their portfolio and submit to the college board for evaluation.
Teich expressed, “During that class, I think I shut down, creatively speaking. When you are expected to complete three or four high-quality pieces of work every two to three weeks at a successful college level, it almost seems to become forced and not genuine.”
Despite the fact that painting as an assignment puts a substantial amount of pressure onto Teich, she still envisions herself creating art in the next ten years: “I hope I am able to create on a greater canvas and I want to become more well known for my art. Not in the famous sense, but even locally would be really insane to see.”
Nevertheless, Teich finds it hard to answer the question specifically. If someone had asked her the question even two or three years ago, she said she would have responded with “I’m not sure, I’ll probably still be drawing,” but drawing is no longer her favorite medium. For Teich, in a few years from now, painting could become a thing of the past as she progresses towards a new medium to use as a form of self-expression.