Studio-phoenix blogspot is an art-blog bringing you some of the best in new visual and performing art, music, food, fashion, politics and events in NYC, the Balkans & elsewhere in the world . The main focus is to post articles and cover stories about emerging artists in New York City, with a strong focus on Brooklyn. Please stay with us as we seek to improve, and refine our methods. "Art is the reason, art is the way". Cheers!
Head of the Design & Production department @ MPM(Media Print Macedonian), WAZ Media Group. She studied at The Academy Fine Arts in Skopje(capital city of Macedonia). Born on December 9th, she loves cats. Biljana Vasileva is an artist with a wide range of skills, interest's, and things to say.
Biljana's current show. Image courtesy of the artist.
BV: I've been very busy Kerwin, ... Apologize for the delay...Hope you are o.k.
SP:I understand Biljana, life keeps us all busy and duty calls(quite often it seems). And I've been well :]
SP:When did you start creating art?
BV: I remember I’ve been making portraits of people around me since a very early age. For the first time I started seriously being preoccupied with visual art during secondary school, at the age of 14-15. At that time I was introduced to drawing and painting skills and printing techniques, and that process continued during my studies at the Academy of Fine Arts. After the graduation (I graduated printmaking and graphic design) I started to search for my own, personal expression, released from the influences of my teachers, and with complete freedom in the choice of mediums and techniques I was experimenting with a combination of drawing and painting, collage and other mixed techniques. Experimenting, learning new mediums and at the same time intimate search for answers to deep and personal questions related to art, are my continuous challenges until now.
SP:Who, as far as artist go, are your influences?
BV: I can’t choose some direct influences, but I’m closely attached to impressionists. I’ve learned a lot while studying and copying their artworks. I’ve also been under the influence of expressionists, 19 and early 20 century are somehow closest to my art personality. I admire Degas, Monet, inevitable Van Gogh, Rothko, great Picasso, Nicolas de Stael… Closest to me by narration is Francis Bacon with his sophisticated darkness and Zdzislaw Beksinski among newest artists.
SP:Most of the time there's a catalyst that leads to certain kinds of creative work. What was it that lead to those amazing ink drawings you posted to facebook?
BV: In my drawings it’s easy to recognize alienation and solitude; I was feeling this after my mother’s death, together with my deep sadness. I found myself alone in this world, without the protection I used to have and I was confronted with the transience of human life and I put these feelings on paper. From the other side, every time of my life is related to some kind of music which have influenced it. At the time I was creating these ink drawings I was listening almost all the time to Satie, Rachmaninov, Philip Glass’s minimalism and to the music of Macedonian composer Kodjabashia and they strengthened the atmosphere of alienation, emptiness and melancholy. I was simply putting on paper the stories born in my head while listening to their music.
SP:Are there any other mediums you've worked in prior
to the artwork in question?
BV: Except for drawing, painting and printmaking, I’ve been working in video art last year, and my professional occupation is graphic design.
SP:What's next for you as far as creative projects?
BV: Lately I’ve been preoccupied with graphic design, a project I’m working on for the last few months. Before that I was working on a theater show, as an author of the video art and as a part of the whole process of creating the concept of the show, primarily visual aspect. I developed an amazing artistic collaboration with the director and choreographer of the show, my friend Gordana Dean Pop-Hristova. We became really harmonized, a creative tandem. And we are already working on some ideas about our next , most probably film project. At the same time I becoming more and more obsessed with a desire for classical oil painting. I can’t wait to find enough time and energy to jump into that challenge, to feel the smell of the turpentine again.
SP:Aside from art, what do like for enjoyment, relaxing? Tell us a little about Biljana, if you will.
BV: As a professional occupation I’m responsible for design and production in a large media corporation where I'm trying to insert a creative and artistic mark. Aside from my duties I enjoy visiting exhibitions, concerts and other cultural events with my friends; which are best occasions to keep together in this dynamic and fast way of living. I am animal admirer; I'm especially fond of cats and I adore my cat Pero which relaxes me and makes me laugh after work. There is a lot of music and internet in my life. Continuous learning and working on self-improvement together with continuous setting, and working on achievement; on new goals, is making me feel realized and fulfilled.
SP: Biljana, wonderful interview. And thanks so much for taking the time. I too am thinking about oil painting; when I'll have time and the smell of turpentine in the morning. Cheers!