INTERVIEW BY KOAN JEFF BAYSA FOR ARUDE MAGAZINE
What unique influence do you wield in your position?
My life is a confluence of diverse cultures. My work and its influence are direct manifestations of this contradiction. My sculptures and paintings carry both crudeness of the West and fragility of the East. As such, they allow me to be a cultural connection between the two worlds and to express the universal power of art, to be understood on both sides of the Atlantic.
How did you come to your position?
By chance and sagacity. I began painting to save my soul from the tragedy of my homeland, Bosnia and Herzegovina. I started exhibiting at 18, but being solely an exhibiting artist was not enough. Fashion, multi-media performances, films, dance, and collaborations happened through pure exchange of ideas. I have had the great fortune to encounter amazingly creative people. I blame New York for that. I am receptive for all it has to offer.
What particular axe do you have to grind in the art world?
Presumed objectivity in a realm of no absolutes.
What is the role of spirituality in art?
In my view, spirituality is an internal process; a solution to an internal monodrama. My work is the materialization of such internal dialogue. My art is my spirituality. What is art without it?
How do you resolve a profit driven system with spirituality?
My creative process is not motivated by profit. All spirituality ceases when such a non-spiritual element is imposed. Amazingly, if the work is clear in its honesty, profit inevitably follows.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
I am honored that a painting of mine is featured on a commemorative postage stamp in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I am especially proud that this painting captures the strength and beauty of generations of women in a land of perpetual turbulence.
What do you do better than your male counterparts?
I imagine that I understand female body in its emotions, strengths and weaknesses more readily than a man could.
What is the pinnacle of your ambitions?
I see my ambition as a process without the pretense of the happily ever after. I measure my success in having the space, time, and inspiration to create more today than I did yesterday.
Tell me about your family life.
My family was torn apart in the Bosnian war of the early nineties. When it started, I was an exchange student in the United States; I was 16 and could not go back home. My family lived in a town under siege. We lost all contact for two years. It was six years before we would see each other again. We are still trying to put those pieces together with six thousand miles between us. However, I am infinitely grateful for my amazing friends and collaborators who have become my American family. They made this
country my home away from home.
If you weren’t doing this, what would be doing?
If it were up to my Mom, I would be a doctor. If you ask my Dad, I’d be a politician. And I know, that if I were not creating I would always wonder what if…?