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MAYA KULENOVIC; BIOGRAPHY AND WORK (2015)
Anthony Collins

... Whether with portraits, which she terms “faces”, architecture, referred to as “build” works, landscapes or still life images, Kulenovic's focus is to capture an ambience or psychological state. She deliberately explores ambiguity, and in her approach to the painted surface she works in glazed layers as well as  destructive techniques to create images evoking a particular atemporal context that invite the viewer to linger, and thus invest of themselves in her world. In her words, “the atmosphere of the painting arises from the relationships between the defining and destroying elements.” Despite the removal of particular narrative references to place, time, or human drama, it is not unusual for viewers to make strong personal identifications with her compositions. Her works remind us of the historical without depicting. Instead, there is a compelling evocative power to her imagery that reaches viewers emotionally and viscerally, which can be both fascinating and challenging. In her paintings there is a dialogue with memory and culture, and a subliminal mechanism driven by the seemingly familiar and representative, in contrast with the uncanny. This process can be understood as reflecting a distillation of art history into contemporary forms that raise questions about our world of images, their doubles, and the future: about how we recognize the language of art historical imagery in a world where almost all imagery now comes to us in a secondary, usually virtual form, and where we should place ourselves amidst this duel for preeminence.
...
Read this essay here (English)


ATLAS MAGAZINE INTERVIEW WITH MAYA KULENOVIC (2012)
...
Atlas: Your paintings seem to speak for themselves, with dark, soft voices. But what aspect of your life (or yourself) do you believe they reflect?

MK: I never try to connect my personal life with my paintings. I believe that the connection between personality and life of the artist with his work is inevitable, and that it should be left as a subliminal process. My paintings are inspired by what I see, and if something inspires me, this is usually because it contains a larger, universal truth as well as a connection to my own life. So all of my images bear scars of my own experiences as a participant, but also as an observer of both history and the present, who is trying to make sense of it all on rational, emotional and philosophical levels. Every one of my paintings contains different aspects of everything that I know and have experienced, expressed either as a presence in the image, or as an absence. Ultimately, whatever their particular subject may be, my paintings are existential in nature and they usually show the critical points: borderline states between being and non- being, creation and destruction, life and death, trance and wakefulness, sanity and madness.
...
Read this interview here (English)


MAYA KULENOVIC EN REMBRANDTS CLAIR-OBSCUR (2010)
Bob van den Boogert, Conservator Museum Het Rembrandthuis, Amsterdam

'Kulenovic is een van de grootste schildertalenten van haar generatie en heeft inmiddels een omvangrijk oeuvre opgebouwd, dat zijn weg vindt naar een groeiende schare bewonderaars in Europa en de Verenigde Staten. In een volstrekt persoonlijke en direct herkenbare stijl maakt Kulenovic gebruik van de picturale middelen die haar door grote voorgangers uit de kunstgeschiedenis worden aangereikt. Een van hen is onmiskenbaar Rembrandt van Rijn.'

Read this essay here (Dutch)


EEN EXCLUSIEF INTERVIEW MET MAYA KULENOVIC (2009)
Karin van der Beek (kunsthistorica) - Amsterdam
...
Je werk vertaal je veelal als gemoedstoestanden en niet als gebeurtenissen, met thema’s als slachtoffers, lust en hoop. Zijn de actu
aliteiten in onze samenleving eveneens van invloed op je werk?

De schaduwzijde van het menselijk emotioneel spectrum interesseert mij, zo ook de interactie tussen mensen onderling. De omstandigheden waarover ik spreek zijn lange termijn emoties, geen emoties van het moment. Ontzag, hebzucht, liefde, terreur, angst, wraak zijn vaak belangrijke drijfveren voor het menselijk gedrag, die vaak verborgen gaan achter een masker van ratio en rede. Het negatieve is net zo aanwezig als het positieve en kan zo maar worden uitgewisseld. Ons menselijk bewustzijn en ons gedrag zit vol tegenstrijdigheden en daar ligt mijn fascinatie. Ik wil niet toelichten en antwoorden geven, maar uitlokken en goede vragen stellen.
...
Read this interview here (Dutch)


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