Ana Markovic was born in 1984 in Belgrade, Serbia. She attained Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade, Serbia. She spent 2012-2013 as an Erasmus student at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, Austria. In 2011 she was awarded at the Biennale of Student drawing of Serbia.
She had twelve solo exhibitions so far and also participated in many group shows in Serbia and Austria. She took part in artist in residence programs in Belgium, Hungary, Austria and Montenegro, workshops in Switzerland and Austria. Her work is a part of art collections in Austria, Germany, Serbia, Switzerland, and the USA.
She is a member of the Serbian art association (ULUS). Lives and works in Belgrade, Serbia.
2015 _ Elementary and Advanced Photography courses in Foton Photo School, recognized by Serbian Photo Association
2014 _ Master Degree at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade, Painting
2012/13 _ Erasmus student at the University of Apllied Arts in Vienna, Austria, Johanna Kandl’s class (Universität für Angewandte Kunst in Wien)
2007/10 _ Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade, Serbia
2020_“Man in the Mirror“, Gallery Atelier DIV, Belgrade, Serbia
2018_”Journeys / Accelerations”, Contemporary Art Gallery in Smederevo, Serbia
2018_”Time does not exist, however it hastens us”, Gallery Lucida, Belgrade, Serbia
2018_”Landscapes in Motion – Light”, Gallery Masuka, Velika Plana, Srbija
2018_“The Air that I Breathe“, Belgrade Fortress Gallery Belgrade, Serbia
2017_ „Landscapes in Motion“, City Art Gallery Požega, Požega, Serbia
2016 _ „Landscapes in Motion“, Galerija Zadužbine Ilije M. Kolarca, Belgrade, Serbia
2015 _ „Manouvres“ sa Goranom Risterom, Ustanova kulture Palilula, Beograd, Srbija
2014 _ „Multiplication“, Pub Brod, Belgrade, Serbia
2013 _ „Points of View“, DKSG Gallery, Belgrade, Serbia
2011 _ Awarded at the Biennal of Student Drawing of Serbia, DKSG Gallery, Belgrade, Serbia
2006 _ Drawings, Happy Gallery, SKC, Belgrade, Serbia
I participated in a large number of group exhibitions, mostly in Serbia and several in Austria.
My work is part of art collections in Austria, Serbia, Switzerland, Germany, and the USA.
2019_member of Serbian Art Association ULUS (Udruženje likovnih umetnika Srbije)
2019_ art colony Šušanj, Montenegro
2019_member of art association Diversus Visum
2018_Nagykoros Art Camp, Nagykoros, Hungary
2017 _ Member of Foton Photo Club
2016, 17 _ assistant to artist Irena Haiduk on her project for dokumenta14 in Cassel and Athens
2015 _Junior Editor for Widewalls, online magazine about art, wrote and edited articles about contemporary art
2015_Graphic art colony for young, Prolom banja, Serbia
2014 _ Glo’art artist in residence, Lanaken, Belgium
2013 _ Workshop „Springtime“, Summer Academy at the Center Paul Klee and Bern University of Arts, Bern, Švajcarska
2012 _ Workshop „Next Reality“ sa Watom Tseretelijem , University of Apllied Arts in Vienna
2011 _ Awarded at the Bienal of Student Drawing of Serbia
When did you begin painting and how did you get started?
Ana: I guess I always knew I belong somewhere in the art world because I was very artistic as a child. I used to write, play piano, sing, dance ballet. I first started painting around the age of twelve, I think. It actually started when I got a bad mark in the art class. I was so sad and disappointed that my grandma took me to this local artist to help me out. I ended up spending two years going to his studio every weekend and learning to paint and draw. That is where I feel in love with painting and never wanted to do anything else.
Tell us about your artwork, medium, style, subject matter etc.
Ana: About six months ago, I dived into a brand new project – landscapes of burning forests. I was watching the fires in Amazon last year, and it shook me to the core, made me feel powerless as I sat and watched the sheer destruction of the lungs of the planet from my computer, thousands of miles away. I decided that I must act, in the only way I know and can – by painting. The subject proved bountiful with inspiration, especially as the fires grew to other parts of the world. I’ve come to view the landscape as the means of commenting on the climate crises, the topic that always interested me. I continue to paint landscapes affected by climate change.
In terms of style, I guess it is an amalgamation of impressionism and expressionism; walk on the tight rope between abstract and realism as my painting contains the elements of both.
What is the process from start to final artwork, do you envision it from the beginning or is it a different process?
Ana: Every painting is a little different, but the general process goes something like this. I first get informed about the events or topics, gathering the images as I go. After going through a large number of photographs, I pick a few and incorporate them into one painting. After making several quick sketches as preparation, I make a light pencil drawing on the canvas. Afterward, I paint the whole image in the undertone; after that, the painting begins with the layers. Sometime there will be about two, three layers and sometimes many more.
I always envision a painting, but a lot of the times, things happen along the way and often turn out differently than planned. But, for me, this uncertainty is what makes creating art so exciting.
How does your work comment on current social or political issues?
Ana: I believe that art should not represent transient and ephemeral events of daily politics but concentrate on more permanent issues. That is why I focus on climate crises as it is, unfortunately, a universal constant for everyone all over the world.
Climate change relates to everything, and I believe that one bush fire or one melting iceberg speaks volumes. That is currently at the center of my work and the means through which I comment on these topics.
What is like to be an artist in Serbia?
Ana: Challenging! It is certainly not easy for artists anywhere in the world, but a developing country such as Serbia certainly presents us with more challenges. There is a problem with the lack of the art market, which is almost non-existent, fewer galleries, and a handful of collectors. So, opportunities we have are few and far between. Luckily, the fact that we live in the internet era creates a lot of possibilities and makes up for being geographically dislocated.
How has your art evolved over the years?
Ana: Few years after graduating from the Faculty of Fine Arts, I spent drawing, mostly abstract drawings with ink or pencil using primarily dots. But around 2016, I returned to painting with oil colors. Until recently, I have been working on a series of “Landscapes in Motion,” which consisted of cityscapes painted with blurred lights that emphasize motion and the speed of life and information. Last year I had a feeling that there was nothing left to say/paint in cityscape series and started to think of my next project. I tried out several different ideas until last summer when the fires in the Amazon caught my attention. Scenes of burnt forests and seared dead animals shook me to the core. And the worst part was, it wasn’t going to stop there. I have always been very interested in ecology and preservation of the planet and realized that is what I should paint next. Paintings that tell the story of the devastation of beautiful places and lives ruined – both animal and human.
What challenges have you faced in your creative work?
Ana: I would say I had standard difficulties as having doubts about your work; is it good enough, is it finished, is this the right topic? The Challenge of selling works is still present, and something I have to figure out. Some technical issues as getting better at painting the way you want can be pretty frustrating. But, I know that with time, you can make significant progress if you continue working. This progress represents a motivation for me to be able to look back at my work from say ten years ago and be satisfied with how far I’ve gotten.
Who are your biggest influences?
Ana: I think that every period of my life, and every project I work on those influences differ. When I was younger, before enrolling in the art school, I worshiped Vincent van Gogh, Cezanne, and Serbian artist Vladimir Veličković. Later I looked up to artists Yayoi Kusama and Roman Opalka. For cityscapes, I was inspired by Gerhard Richter, Caspar David Friedrich. Recently, my influences have turned to Peter Doig, Hurvin Anderson, contemporary artists dealing with climate crises such as Zaria Forman, Diane Burko, and Louise Despont in a way. I have always had a soft spot for female artists like Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keefe, Emma Kunz, Agnes Martin, Hilma af Klint. These are just some of the artists whose work inspired me; there are numerous fantastic artists.
How do you seek out opportunities and, what is the best way to reach people that are interested in your art?
Ana: I mainly seek out opportunities via the internet and social networks. That is the blessing of the time we live in. Although technology has its downsides, I firmly believe that it can be highly beneficial when used correctly.
The best way to reach people is to be as present as you possibly can, I guess. I try to make about one solo show a year, participate in group shows, and nurture my online presence through a website and social media.
Are there any upcoming shows or workshops we should know about (or canceled due to the Covid-19 situation)?
Ana: Fortunately, my solo show for this year was due in February, so we could have it before the pandemic struck my country. I am very thankful for that circumstance. I participated in this year’s Spring Exhibition, a big group show organized by ULUS (Serbian Art Association) of which I am a member. It was planned for March but took place in June. Like many people, I am confused by all this and unsure about making plans for the future. For the time being, I am dedicated to my studio work and creating new paintings; I will see how the situation will develop and what will the near future bring.
Do you see your art as serving a purpose beyond art?
Ana: This question is a difficult one for me. I wish art has that kind of power to influence and change the world, but sadly, I fear it doesn’t. Since my latest work is about climate change, and I do hope my new paintings will provoke people to think about the planet and climate crises, and not only admire the visual sensation. In that sense, I believe my art can be like a wake-up call. It would make me very happy if it creates that kind of effect on at least a few people.
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