Art Lexicon: Ivana Aranđelović

Have you experienced pain? Can you visualize it?
As you reflect on this, read our interview with the artist Ivana Anranđelović, who, in her own way, has done this. She also answered many more interesting questions.
Ivana was born in Smederevo, graduated in graphic design at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, and has an MA in drawing from the same academy. Currently she is doing a history of art MA in Istanbul.

When and how did you decide to become an artist?
– I didn’t. It was just a natural path to follow.

Who were your role models at the beginning?
– When I was a kid, I liked looking at and trying to copy the drawings of the old masters. In secondary school, I was interested in impressionism, and after that I switched to expressionism and abstract art.

Who do you admire today?
– That’s always a difficult question for me. Today, I pay more attention to artists of younger generations both here and abroad, such as Ljiljana Šunjevarić, Slobodan Stošić, Mia Ćuk, Milan Kulić, Tara Rodić, Nikola Velički, Danja Tekić, Vanja Subotić, Nataša Prljević, C4 art group, Jagoda Mićović, Ivana Bašić, Matthew Palladino, Yun – Fei Ji, Matt Leines, Murat Palta, etc.

In your works, you try to visualize pain. Tell us more about this process?
– I began to explore it by making drawings in a small notebook which portrayed different types of pain and the methods of treatment. For me, it was a type of therapy because when I began to paint pain, I had headaches. Drawing and focusing on understanding pain somehow helped me to relax. Then I started complicating things, researching and entering deeper into the problem. In a way, the issue of death and the process of aging and decline is present in my work.

You finished an MA in Istanbul. How did it affect your work?
– It’s my second Master’s degree, but I haven’t defended it yet. It’s a Master’s in the history of art. I’m researching medieval Islamic drawings for medical books. I went there with the idea to explore drawings that influenced the formation of my visual expression. I can say that it was successful because it complemented and crystallized some things in my works, since what I found there I had been interested in earlier.

What are you working on right now?
– I’m working on “An Altar for the Spine”, which is a large painting on canvas, as well as a painting for the Media Art Festival “A Short History of Kovin”.

In your opinion, what is the most important cultural event in Serbia?
– It was the October Salon, BITEF still is, Fest … difficult to say …

What is kitsch?
– A lot of things 🙂 Some of my drawings were a critique of the newly-formed supporters of Indian culture and art, pathetic and frivolous, something like New Age. For me that’s kitsch, along with the unexpected heights that it has reached. That’s how one series of works came about, but I don’t think everyone understood me because I did not have a CONCEPT (!)
The topics that I deal with focus on understanding and analysing pain. This, in my opinion, is a dangerous area because it can easily slip into the pathetic. I perceive the pathetic to be a form of bad taste and kitsch.
Kitsch is everywhere. Loads of “manifestations”; and “festivals” of culture are really kitsch. Kitsch is a part of modern society and contemporary art … popular like a healthy lifestyle and kombucha tea!

What do you consider to be your greatest success?
– Hmmm … what I draw (?)

Do you have a favourite piece of work?
– No. Sometimes one of my old works inspires me to do something new, but I wouldn’t say that it’s my favourite.

How are the notebooks with drawings made?
– They are made literally everywhere …, I bring them everywhere, I always have one with me. They are daily notes, an introspective narration. I think the notebooks are the most important part of my work.


What is necessary for you to progress in your work?
– Patron of art 🙂

What do you consider to be the greatest quality of Serbian contemporary art?
– Uh … there are good artists, some good galleries, but it’s not easy for me to choose.

How are you informed about current art events?
– The Internet is a good place for information, for example, I often check SEEcultProfessional artist mag Art space, De-materialization of art. Facebook has so many pages related to art: Hyperallergic, Dangerous minds, Artsy. Follow Kvaka 22 😀

Can you recommend a film?
– Hmmmmm. The Romanian film by the director Radu Jude “Aferim!” from 2015

In May, your solo exhibition was held at the Štab Gallery. What was on show?
– At Štab I exhibited drawings and paintings (although I don’t think I paint) called “Processes”. The exhibition included works created during a period of say 4 years.

Can you tell us something more about them?
– The drawings and paintings from the series “Processes” represent an introspective narration and intimate visualization of the most common pain, physical or mental, which are the result of the physical influence or the absorption of the social and global environment. By working through the processes, I was able to observe pain and the body as a whole and in variations, and to implant in them persistent personal and social changes that have influenced me.

Are you planning any other exhibitions?
Yes, I’m planning one in Kvaka 22, and some more, but it’s too early to talk about them.


Take a look at Ivana’s Behance profile and find out more about her art!

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Translated by Grainne Boyle Orlić.