Art Lexicon: Marija Zdravkovic

For Wolf Art this week, we talked to Belgrade artist, Marija Zdravković.  In January, she had a solo exhibition at the Cultural Centre in Novi Sad.

In the interview below, learn more about Marija’s paintings, her views on developments in the art world, as well as her encounter with performance art.

 

When did you decide to take up art?

I was 23 when I first began to paint. I had spent the whole day in the studio painting, not tired and my heart full. It was then I knew that this was me.

Who were your role models in the beginning?

My sister.

Who are those artists today?

Anselm Kiefer, Cy Twombl.

What sculpture in a public place would you recommend that we see?

The theatre sculpture by Mrdjan Bajić in the atrium of Jugoslovensko Dramsko Pozorište.

How are you informed about current art events?

Facebook is very useful as an information portal.  I follow a number of artists and galleries on Instagram.  And one great site is: www.artsy.net/artists.

In your opinion, what is the most important cultural event that has been held in Serbia?

Oktobarski salon.

Which artist inspires you?

Georgia O’Keeffe.

You share your studio with a number of artists. What does you work day look like?

We usually start with a laugh, tea or coffee. Then we all retreat to our own space and into ourselves. Later we get together again for tea, coffee and a laugh.

For a couple of years, you took part in performance art. Can you tell us a little more about it?

The cooperation occurred spontaneously with a girlfriend, Liv Kristin from Oslo. Performance is something completely different than anything I had done and that was why it interested me. It dealt with topics related to ritual and religious art and so we performed in churches. It was difficult for me to “realize” that everything an artist imagines is possible, that everyone is open for cooperation and that we could sit in a bar drinking coffee with the Norwegian Minister of Culture. When I “understood” that, everything was great.  

Are you planning to continue with it?

Yes.

In your opinion, what are the best qualities of Serbian contemporary art?

Diversity.

Could you recommend a biographical film about an artist?

A film about Marianne North called “Kew’s Forgotten Queen”.

In your opinion, which city has the most exciting art scene?

Berlin.

Do you have a favorite piece?

My favorites are the first ones in a series.

What do you consider to be your greatest success?

That I still paint.

What is necessary for you to make progress in your work?

Perseverance.

When and where was you last exhibition?

In January in the gallery KC Novi Sad. 

Can you tell us a little more about it?

I hadn’t had an exhibition in a while and this one made me very happy. Exhibitions are necessary for every artist in order for them to see their work more clearly. The Cultural Centre in Novi Sad is an excellent place for exhibitions. It is a beautiful and inspirational place. I imagined hanging my paintings as a “meditative” frieze, and I did.   

What are your plans after this exhibition?

To continue as if it never happened. Paint and prepare for my next exhibition.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m continuing to work on the series “A view from within”.

Here is the link where you can see more of Maria’s paintings: LINK