Interview: Dr. Iztok Retar
Luca Curci talks with Dr. Iztok Retar during 12th Edition of Contemporary Venice Art Fair, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
Iztok Retar, a contemporary artist from Slovenia, born in 1958, creates artworks that revolve around the interplay of lines and strong-colored surfaces, aiming to explore the relationships between light and shadow. While he holds a PhD and teaches sports didactics at the University of Primorska, his journey as a self-taught artist began in 2017. Throughout his artistic career, Retar has produced numerous abstract acrylic paintings, drawing inspiration from the Mediterranean, and infusing his works with vibrancy and vividness. His artistic approach remains open, allowing him to channel his experiences and perceptions to evoke emotional responses.
In his art, he rhythmically arranges color compositions, revealing the complexity of life in a balanced and subtle manner. His process, reminiscent of Jackson Pollock’s action paintings, involves using the drip technique on a canvas placed on the ground, demanding complete engagement of mind and body in a performative manner. Retar has exhibited his works at various locations worldwide, with selected exhibitions including Aami Prague in 2021 (Czech Republic), Ljubljana Forum event Exhibition in 2021, Salvador Cub in 2021 (Ljubljana), Tutti frutti in 2020 (Ljubljana), Ex tempore in 2020 (Piran), Expoart in 2019 (Ljubljana), Regatta in 2020 (Koper), and more.
Luca Curci – What are your thoughts while you paint? Do you have any habits or rituals while you work?
Dr. Iztok Retar – While painting, my thoughts often take a complex and chaotic form, interwoven with emotions. The act of painting itself serves as a means to structure and give expression to these thoughts. There are no specific rituals I adhere to; I simply dive into the creative process.
LC – What is the trigger that leads you to paint?
IR – I find it challenging to pinpoint specific triggers for my creative process. It’s more about the gradual
accumulation of creative energy. When that energy reaches a certain point, I instinctively feel the urge to
begin a new painting.
LC – How is your creative process?
IR – My creative process follows a careful plan in its initial stages. However, as I delve deeper into the work, I willingly surrender to the influences of my subconscious and intuition. This interplay of planning and spontaneity often leads to the most compelling results. The initial start is typically the easiest, while the most challenging part is the finishing touches and refinement.
LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
IR – I primarily create my artworks in series or collections, where I explore variations on specific themes.
These thematic collections allow me to create a visual narrative and provoke thought. That being said, I
also produce standalone pieces, driven by pure intuition and artistic inspiration.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
IR – The role of an artist in today’s world is neither purely black nor white, but rather a nuanced shade of grey. In the midst of our complex, virtual era, the boundaries between truth and falsehood can be blurred. This is why I believe that one of the most crucial roles of an artist is to reflect on the pressing issues of our time.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the exhibition?
IR – I wholeheartedly support the vision of providing a platform for artists to showcase their work, bringing diverse creative voices together. Themes for exhibitions may not always align with personal preferences, but they are essential, particularly for group exhibitions. They offer a practical and necessary framework for artistic expression, and I fully endorse such initiatives.
LC – In what way is the artwork presented in our exhibition connected with the exhibition’s theme?
IR – The relationship between art and contemporary society has evolved, as artists have historically been
visionaries, interpreting the past, analyzing the present, and foreseeing the future. In the present, the
artistic landscape is marked by intense competition, including the advancements in artificial intelligence,
making the creative terrain even more complex. Our society seems to be increasingly immersed in a
virtual realm, leading to a sense of disconnection from the natural world.
With my painting, “Flowering Field,” I aimed to bridge this divide, not through radical detachment from
the modern world, but by integration. This work strives to stimulate contemplation about returning to
our roots in nature. It encourages viewers to consider a harmonious coexistence with our technologically
advanced society, finding a balance between the digital and the natural. In essence, my artwork seeks to
evoke a dialogue between our fast-paced, virtual lives and the timeless beauty of the natural world,
inviting us to reconnect with it in a meaningful way.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
IR – It was a truly enjoyable experience working with your organization. The opportunity to be a part of this event was a rewarding and enriching experience, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with you
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
IR – ITSLIQUID Platform has proven to be a valuable and dynamic platform for artists like myself. The
exposure and opportunities it provides for artists to showcase their work are commendable, and I
appreciate the role it plays in supporting and promoting the arts.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
IR – The organization of the event was exceptionally well-executed. I felt well-supported throughout the
process, and the event’s structure and logistics were seamless. Thank you for the fantastic work in
curating and managing this event. It was a great pleasure for me to be a part of it. Thank you so much!