"We were struck by her way of painting, her strokes. But also, how she approaches delicate situations with risky images", explains Lio Malca, promoter of the Fundación La Nave Salinas, a 700-square-metre stone building located on the edge of the sea where Beresin will be exhibiting her work this summer. On occasions, Beresin inserts self-portraits that seem amusing, mainly through hands, feet and facial features distorted like a caricature - a constant in her work. "I use my face and my body, I put them at the centre in situations that are relevant to me, combining them with my creatures, those that have accompanied me since childhood," she says.
Of Beresin's work, art critic Kenny Schachter has said that "her paintings are equally seductive, hilarious and disturbing. While lulled into a false sense of comforting entertainment, Eva hits us over the head after luring us in with her unparalleled, unbridled, symbolically violent and disturbing images.” She confesses, "I've never looked for beauty, so I can't define what it means to me". Whilst Kenny adds that "I have always found a fascination for interesting, extraordinary and exciting people and things".
Eva Beresin trained as a painter at the Budapest School of Visual Arts. The daughter of an art collector, she was always exposed to the art world from an early age, and since the age of 9 she has known that painting is her great passion. Based in Vienna, Beresin is the first woman artist to exhibit at the foundation. In 2015, Beresin realised a deeply personal exhibition project for the Charim gallery in Vienna that brought her into the international art spotlight, titled My Mother’s Diary: Ninety-Eight Pages, that was also materialised as a book.
This acclaimed exhibition was based on a diary written by her mother after her liberation from Auschwitz. With a bold handling of symbolism, her work captures stories inspired by tragic situations, but wrapped in a positive atmosphere, being able to extract beauty from pain. "You have to have a sense of humour to cope with horror," explains Beresin. "My courage to show all this somehow makes me laugh and encourages me because, despite all the hardships, we are still here”.
In addition to being present in important international collections, Beresin's work has entered the permanent collection of the Albertina Museum in Vienna. We made time to talk about the seven deadly sins, the Shoah’s pivotal impact on her need for humour to cope with tragedy, seeing little animal faces everywhere and her impressive 10 hour a day screen time.