Chitra Ragavan

Agnieszka Pilat

Ep. 62:  She went from poverty in communist-era Poland to becoming the artist of choice of Silicon Valley billionaires for her renaissance-inspired conceptual art of machines and robots/ Agnieszka Pilat, Conceptual Artist.

Born in the shadow of communism, in the grip of poverty, in the cradle of post-industrial Central Poland, Agnieska Pilat acted on her burning desire to leave her homeland and headed to America in 2004. 
She landed in the Bay Area where a transformative book recommendation from her hairdresser, and her industrial roots in Poland, led to an epiphany which led her to start painting machines. First the traditional kind. Gears and widgets and meters and fire bells. Then — robots. One in particular, her big bright yellow 70 pound cybernetic “pet” if you could call it that / model/assistant/apprentice/Spot, on loan to her from the famed and controversial robot maker Boston Dynamics.
Over the past decade, Agnieskza Pilat’s classically-trained, renaissance-inspired, contemporary art around man and machine, technology and automation has gained a big following among Silicon Valley’s elite billionaires. Her works of art have been acquired by collectors including Sotheby’s and tech titans such as Craig McCaw, Richard Branson, Yuri Milner, and Larry Silverstein among others. Several of her paintings are featured in the latest Matrix movie, The Matrix Resurrections. Pilat has been described as an “artist who brings technology to life,” ‘the darling of Silicon Valley,” and a “technology storyteller.”  Her latest exhibition is titled Renaissance 2.0, and is an homage to Silicon Valley’s renaissance. It was such a pleasure to catch up with Agnieszka Pilat about her life and her renaissance-inspired contemporary art of man and machine.