Zlatko Mušić is a 31-year-old artist from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Recently one of his paintings (shown above) was chosen to be displayed on a hi-res screen by the Saatchi Gallery in London.
I’ve had the pleasure of an interview with the artist. Here it is.
Mira Tudor: Hi Zlatko, looking through your portfolio at https://zlatkomusicart.wordpress.com/portfolio, I’m struck how versatile you are, moving with gusto from one style to another. I see the influence of Cézanne, Expressionism and de Kooning, but also of Caillebotte, Collage, and Digital Art. I would like to ask you, what are your favorite artists and why?
Zlatko Mušić: The diversity in my artworks probably comes from different styles and artists that had an influence on me, but among the many great artists I like, I consider Cézanne the greatest. Besides Paul Cézanne I would like to mention also Marc Chagall, Edward Hopper and Mark Rothko as some of my favorite painters and influences.
All of these artists together are definition of pure art, in my opinion. Chagall with his imaginative storytelling scenes and bold use of colors, Hopper, on the other hand, with his use of light and the suspenseful atmosphere in paintings, and Rothko, of course, with his monumentality and his understanding of space in painting. They all influenced my work greatly, but in the words of Picasso, Cézanne is the father of us all.
MT: What medium was your favorite when you started making art? Was it always painting?
ZM: Painting was always my favorite medium. In the past, I liked to draw a lot besides painting, but with time as I took more interest in abstract and semi-abstract styles of painting I started to use colors more and to draw less.
MT: Do you work on commission? What are some of your paintings that you created on commission, and what can you tell me about your experience of working with a client to create a painting?
ZM: I work on commission often lately and it’s very challenging. For me, lots of commissions are based on earlier paintings I did—the client often wants something similar to my paintings that he saw in my portfolio or somewhere else. It’s very important to retain creative freedom, but at the same time meet the needs of the client. I’ve also had a few commissions where I had total freedom to do what I wanted, so it all depends on the client. The latest commission I had was a series of abstract landscapes also based on some of my earlier works. You can see one of them on my blog: https://zlatkomusicart.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/the-new-world-abstract-landscape
MT: Do you sell prints of your art?
ZM: Yes, I sell prints. They are available on http://zlatko-music.pixels.com
MT: Anything else you’d like to add?
ZM: I also have a shop on Etsy where you can find some of my original paintings for sale: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ZlatkoMusicArt. And you can find me on Facebook, too: www.facebook.com/ZlatkoMusicArt, or on my blog: https://zlatkomusicart.wordpress.com/portfolio
MT: Thank you, Zlatko, for this interview!
I recently discovered Dawn Gettig’s tea bag art and got quite inspired, so I asked Dawn to tell me more about her art.
Mira Tudor: Hi Dawn, I came across your tea bag art at http://dawngettig.com today and really enjoyed your use of this medium—its wear made me think of some of the softer creases and stains of life. Then I read your own words about the serenity you need in your life, and realized that sometimes we achieve serenity not against a blank canvas, but, on the contrary, by falling into those creases and stains of our life softly. So I’d like to ask you to tell me more of what you see in the used tea bags you use as your canvas.
Dawn Gettig: I see images, faces or patterns that inspire the finished art. Often, I simply use my intuition and follow it as it tells me what the empty tea bag wants to become. Sometimes I see a woman’s face or a woodland bird or other creature. Other times I paint an abstract image. Often it is the color of the stained tea bag that inspires the subject matter and other times it is the shape of the stain. I use different types of tea bags . . . herbal tea, green tea, black tea. I love the variety of the different colors, shapes and sizes of the tea bags. Mostly, I just love the organic feeling and color of the tea bag.
MT: Your paintings of birds and animals come alive the backdrop of the tea bag as they would against a landscape. What media do you work with to create them, and have you tried before media that didn’t work with the tea bags?
DG: I am a mixed media artist so I use all types of media with the tea bags. Mostly watercolor and/or acrylic paint but will add in graphite, paint pens, pastels, inks, and more. Thick oil pastels don’t work as well on the tea bag substrate because it is so small.
MT: Have you worked with unconventional canvases before?
DG: Yes, I have tried many different substrates. Handmade paper, fabric, leaves, tree bark, stones. But I am especially drawn to tea bags as an unconventional canvas.
MT: What will come after the tea bags?
DG: Well, I am always working on many different art projects and learn many different techniques from other art teachers along my lifelong journey as an artist. I enjoy a wide variety of painting styles and subject matter. I love painting abstracts on large canvases because the story is different for each person viewing the art piece. I really have been enjoying the muted fresco look of painting on joint compound and hope to find the time to create more fresco-type art.
MT: Anything else you’d like to add?
Zsolt Asztalos came up with an intriguing proposition last fall at Victoria Art Center in Bucharest. He displayed a table with books severed in two, writing in his statement, “Each historical memory is waiting to be conceived by the future, so that a reality is formed.” He titled this work My Story—My Version/Library (2015–2016). Enjoy.
Here’s a work I saw at Senso Gallery in Bucharest last fall, and the beginning of a poem I wrote about it.
I’ve seen warm marble in Bernini’s Rape of Persephone
—Where Pluto’s hand sinks into her flesh—
Pregnant marble in Brancusi’s Beginning of the World
—Where an ovoid rests on a polished steel plate:
The material world and its metaphysical alter in bud—
Marble draped in lavish folds in Michelangelo’s Pietà
Diaphanous in Giovanni Strazza’s Veiled Virgin
But I’ve never seen marble quite so soft and elastic
As that of Cristian Pentelescu’s in The Gate
Or if I did, I don’t remember—
Saw one of Marcel Guguianu’s Muse sculptures at Artmark in Bucharest last fall and was quite taken with it, so much so that I returned to the exhibition hall (the new space they have for showcasing contemporary art) to take a whole slew of photos of her in addition to the few I took the first time. Enjoy.
18 x 8 x 6 cm (7.1 x 3.1 x 2.4 in)
Pre-sale estimate: €600–€800