Interview: Zeljka Paic
Luca Curci talks with Zeljka Paic during THE BODY LANGUAGE 2020 at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space.
Zeljka Paic, born 1987 in Prijedor, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Attending art classes from a very early age. Graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Banja Luka in 2015 and also graduated from the Faculty of Architecture and Civil Engineering in 2011. Received Golden award as the best student of the entire class and one of the best students at the University of Banja Luka in 2015. Received the award of ‘Museum of Kozara’ for the artwork “Arc” in 2015. Zeljka Paic is active not only in the cultural scene of Bosnia and Herzegovina but also internationally through exhibitions in art world centers like New York, London, and Amsterdam. Her artworks are collected in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Hong Kong, etc. Featured in: The Guardian “The Future of Art – in Pictures”, The World of Interiors Magazine “Artistic Impressions” 2017, and the Art Aesthetics Magazine “The top 5 artists at The Other Art Fair London 2017”.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Zeljka Paic – In my opinion having drawing and painting skills is very important, but the essential thing is to have thought-provoking and interesting ideas. Artists have to go dipper under the surface of form and color and to share their own philosophy, emotion, and energy.
LC – What are you currently working on?
ZP – Currently, I am working on a series that re-examines the relationship between the artwork frame and subject matter. The frame has a different role in this series because it symbolizes the boundaries – physical, emotional, social, etc. which is sometimes possible to overcome. There are certain cuts and alterations on the frame contributing to the story. I am also finishing some large artworks from 2019 related to architecture, geometry, and space which demand a lot of patience, precision and time.
LC – What is your creative process like?
ZP – The pleasant surrounding and peaceful environment are playing a significant role for my art related work. The studio is in the house where I live, so I can express myself artistically anytime. I don’t have an interphone nor a ring bell on the entrance gate purposely for not being interrupted during my creative work. At the beginning of creating new artwork I usually make sketches and sometimes experiment with colors or materials. I find the title of the artwork very important and always spend some time thinking about it. Physical action during the painting process gives me a balance between body and mind. When I go outside, walking through the beautiful City of Banja Luka known for a lot of greenness and trees, is very inspiring.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
ZP – Sometimes it can be daring when I switch from geometry to expressiveness, from figurative to abstract, and reverse, or from one medium to another. For example, the “Torso” was challenging because the last time I painted a body was at the Academy of Fine Arts five years ago. In the meantime, I was working on my architectural series and abstract geometry that has to do with the mathematical way of thinking which is also very creative. While I studied art the main subject in my work was the portrait and I also worked in an architectural firm (part-time job) designing furniture and participating in architectural projects. All these experiences and challenges enriched my art and my perception.
LC – Do visitors’ suggestions enrich yourself and your art?
ZP – Sometimes. There is an unexplainable prioritizing process of suggestions in my mind. Artists have to protect their originality and uniqueness, yet to be open to a good suggestion. For enriching myself and my art I prefer traveling, reading, research, visiting museums, being surrounded by interesting people, and having a fulfilled life.
LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the festival or as a part of preexisting works?
ZP – I wanted my artworks to answer The Body Language exhibition. The “Torso” and “Contrapposto” were created before, but the artwork “Aging” (where the painting becomes the body itself), would not exist without this exhibition. All three artworks are connected and represent the relation between sculpture and the body, mortality and immortality, the movement and static, metaphysics, and material reality. The “Contrapposto” photography was made in front of a sculpture created by the Croatian sculptor Mate Crvljak. A fellow artist Aleksandra Ivankovic (Imaginarium Studio) contributed to my look by specially designing the clothing I wore for the opening, inspired by the festival.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the festival?
ZP – I find The Body Language topic very interesting and challenging for artists. I especially welcome the versatility of ITSLIQUID GROUP offering different kinds of artistic expressions in fields such as contemporary art, architecture, design, etc.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
ZP – It was great! The visitors and exhibitors had the opportunity to enjoy the paintings, photographs, video art, performance, conceptual art in two locations. I was pleasantly surprised by the level of dedication of your organization. I would also like to thank M:tel a.d. Banja Luka, and the City of Banja Luka for sponsoring my participation at the exhibition.
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
ZP – I find the concept of ITSLIQUID GROUP very appealing, especially artist promotion and the duration of the exhibition. The freedom of choice of art dimension and medium enhances the artist’s creativity.
LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our services?
ZP – I would highly recommend collaboration with your organization, and I congratulate you for the level of service you provided for this exhibition. It was a great experience, thank you.