Talking to Alesandro Ljubicic is a unique experience, much like his artwork. He puts all his energy into his art, hoping to capture the soul of the subject rather than the subject itself. Inspired by the beauty of the natural world, Ljubicic chooses to paint images that capture the beauty of nature, and prove that everyone has a connection to the world around us. We recently caught up with the artist, who explained his obsession with nature and why he wouldn’t be doing anything else.
Drawing from a compulsion to capture the natural world, Alesandro Ljubicic explains the motivating forces that drive him to create his pieces.
HAPPY: What inspired you to create artworks focusing on the beauty of nature?
ALESANDRO: I wanted to work on art that focused on nature because I love working with colour and am really fascinated by the colours in the natural world. I think nature is something we can all relate to and something we all have a connection with. I do two types of artwork. One of them is abstract and a lot of it is inspired by documentaries. I love the idea of looking at nature under a microscope and seeing the various textures or tones close up. Nature is a subject that everyone can relate to. Maybe you can’t explain it but there’s always a connection.
HAPPY: Why do you like layering paint in your artworks?
ALESANDRO: I don’t think of it as a particular style. I never chose that particular style but instead I paint that way because that’s how I see the world and that’s how I feel it’s best represented. When I add paint to my artworks I don’t think it needs more paint I just don’t think it looks finished.
HAPPY: Why do you like painting as a medium?
ALESANDRO: The medium chose me. I enjoyed using other mediums but painting was always accessible from a young age and it was always there available for me to use. It doesn’t matter where you are you can take your paints anywhere so it’s comfortable to use. It’s also the best way I represent myself. I’ve recently started working with larger paintings about three metres wide because it’s easier to feel as if I’m painting with my whole body and using all my energy. Art is about capturing the soul of the object rather than the object.
HAPPY: Have you used any other mediums? What can you tell us about your other artworks?
ALESANDRO: I don’t feel like I have to create something similar to my past artworks. Recently I have been trying other mediums including scarves amongst other things. I’m doing this because I’ve been trying to create experiences rather than artworks you simply look at. My other work is visual but I wanted to create an experience you can touch and smell and see. When I was in Germany I visited an exhibition with my friend. We went into a room that was pitch black where we couldn’t see a thing but there were different sounds playing in the background. This inspired me to try focusing on other senses than just sight. With art the artwork never comes first the idea comes first and then the artwork.
HAPPY: What is your background? How has it influenced your art?
ALESANDRO: I was born in Bosnia and immigrated to Australia when I was very young. My parents were always involved in business and came from being in charge of many employees yet not having a lot of money to not being able to speak English or having any employees. That taught me to cope in many different environments and make do with what I had. But more importantly it taught me that money wasn’t important and that what is important is doing what you love. It’s better to fail doing what you love than do something you are not passionate about and succeed. My parents were also very supportive of my art. Many other kids’ parents at school wanted their child to go into law or medicine and make a lot of money but my parents have always encouraged me to do what I love.
HAPPY: What do you find beautiful about nature?
ALESANDRO: I love that nature is constantly changing. You can never predict what a living thing will do. I love the textures and colours in nature and am always surprised by their growth. I feel like nature is really important. It’s all around us.
HAPPY: How did you get into art?
ALESANDRO: I always loved art and from a young age I loved being outside and making things with my hands. As I got older my teachers were very supportive of my art. I was very sporty and was thinking of basketball as a career but my teachers encouraged to me to pursue an artistic career. When I was in year twelve I was deciding between basketball or going to art school but the deciding factor was a two week intensive course at an art school. I loved it from the beginning. It really challenged me. My love of art has nothing to do with ego- it’s to do with feeding my soul. If you have had a really bad day and get to the studio and have a breakthrough it changes everything. You can go from feeling like your like is a mess to feeling like you are on top of the world.
HAPPY: What’s up next for you?
ALESANDRO: I’ve just had a show in Berlin. Clients from London, Singapore, New York came along. But I’m booking another exhibition in Melbourne that still explores the beauty of nature on a different scale. I normally work with paintings about a metre and a half squared but my new paintings are three metres wide. I want you to be able to walk into the artwork. Usually I work with linen but this is the first time I’ve tried working with aluminium behind the linen. Because I’ve got the board now I’m experimenting with new styles. Instead of adding white paint to my paintings afterwards I’m painting the canvas white first and scraping the paint off where I would like it to be white. I feel like this gives my paintings more depth.