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Dr. Marija Orlovic has two home countries: Croatia (where she was born in 1949) and Germany.

I came to Germany (Mainz) in 1973 with a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service. At the Johannes Gutenberg University I did my doctorate in 1977 with a linguistic work. I live in Wiesbaden since 1978 and have been a German citizen since 1984.

It’s beautiful to belong to two countries and to one great continent – Europe.

I have a late entry into art

I have been studying art all my life – but only totally private, just for me. When I retired in 2014, I decided to go through my works, sort them, and make them available to the public. I applied for the 2017 Leipzig Art Fair and was admitted. In 2018, I applied to various online galleries – especially in the US: a total of 11 galleries have exhibited a total of 30 of my works in their monthly exhibitions (February, March, June 2018). I got a total of 9 certificates (Honorable Mention, Special Merit and Special Recognition Awards). In June 2021 there was an interview published with me at Artery.

Several artworks were winners at American Art Awards (2019, 2020 and 2021). Twenty artworks were exhibited at Midwest Center for Photography for six months – just to name two. More at www.mo-pictures.com

Hello Marija! You say you’ve been studying art all your life – but only in private, just for yourself. But you’ve made your art available to the public only recently, in 2014. And yet, your career as an artist really took of nicely. Tell me more about that, and what was the moment of realization you have to share your art with the world?

Marija: I was surprised when I realized that I wanted to go public with my artworks. I could have continued to work for myself personally, go to exhibitions, or leaf through artist monographs and art books at home. Of course, I also follow art on the internet. I thought the community would also enjoy getting to know my art.

I also felt the desire to compare myself with others and to determine my place in current art by participating in various competitions. I just wanted to know: where am I with my art?

How did it all start for you in the world of art, what are your earliest memories of doing art?

Marija: My earliest memories of art are associated with a small village church in Croatia. I was born in 1949. I lived in this small town – Antunovac – in northern Croatia, then Yugoslavia, with my parents until I was twelve. Everything was so bleak there! You could still feel the wounds and trauma of World War II. There was always an atmospheric tension in the air when several people came together. The only quiet and meditative place was the church in the village. I’m not particularly religious, but I loved the atmosphere and the songs that were sung there. I liked the bright rays of light from the sun through the colored windows. I liked the processions that remind me of modern art installations and performances today. And I loved the pictures and the sculptures that were in the church. These pictures may have been kitsch, but to me, they were a beautiful tale of a beautiful life that existed and should be aspired to. I think that is the basis for how I see myself as an artist: experiencing beauty as an important part of life. No freedom without art. No life without art. Art is power. The art is hope. Art is happiness.

Adriatic 01, 2020

Tell us a few words about yourself. What does a typical day look like? Do you just do art, or is art just part of the picture?

Marija: It is a privilege to have the time for art and to engage in art. Because of the pandemic, many things are different than usual. My day is quite structured: I am an early bird and I am mostly at my desk at 5:30 am. Then I work best – until around 10 a.m. Usually, I work on my artworks, on new projects, or do technical experiments. I only work digitally and there is always something new to learn or try out. The art determines my day. At lunchtime I walk for an hour, then lunch, a phone call with my 92-year-old aunt who lives in Zagreb. Between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., dealing with other problems or again with art, phone calls with friends, TV or reading in the evening.

Landscape USA 012, 2019

Several of your artworks were winners at American Art Awards. Tell us a bit more about that.

Marija: When I actually started to go public with my art in spring 2018, I first took part in various competitions in the USA. The response was very positive. I was accepted at Saatchi Art, at Hansford and Sons Emerging Artist Platform, at the art show, and at artplode (more about this on my website www.mo-pictures.com). I took courage and signed up for the American Art Awards in 2019 with two pictures. I wasn’t expecting an award. I thought to myself, let them know that you exist. But: One picture was placed in 3rd place and the other in 5th place in the “manipulated photography” category! That was of course very encouraging. In 2020, three of my pictures were also winners at American Art Awards in the “manipulated photography” category, and in 2021 I only sent one picture – that also became a winner. That is overwhelming! And very motivating!

Landscape-USA-085-2019

If you could imagine the piece of your artwork, would you like to be remembered for, what would it look like?

Marija: That would be a great, gigantic, audiovisual symphony! With many colors, images, lights, noises, and tones of all kinds. A mighty, powerful work! A work that oozes beauty! A work that exudes life and hope.

Landscape USA 125, 2020

Which artist of the past would you most like to meet, and why?

Marija: I would like to meet the artists of prehistoric times – e.g. from Altamira in Spain – and the artists of the Renaissance. I would like to know why they are doing what they have done. I was in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican and tried to imagine the person who made the decision to paint such pictures. Michelangelo was totally brave. But obviously, it was important to him to present his experience of religion personally, very individually. His pictures are so powerful! Its symbolism is so confident and incredibly creative. If I could only express a bit of it in my audiovisual work, that would be the highest for me and my art.

Landscape USA 229, 2019

Tell me about the connection between, as you say, pure photography and on the other hand image interpretations of your perception. Also, tell us more about your technique, and how you’ve developed it.

Marija: Every picture of me is based on a photo I took. I either leave the photo as it is or I manipulate it digitally – with the aim of expressing or visualizing my personal perception and feelings of the photographed. There are always feelings that I want to visualize or express. From a technical point of view, this procedure creates several variants of the original picture. I choose the image that I like best and define it as a unique item or as an edition. I make multimedia series with the remaining variants that may only focus on one motif or are there different motifs that flow into the series. Digital manipulation of the photos makes many variations possible. I decided to use this to create a series – multimedia pieces – that can be displayed on the screen (computer, TV, mobile phone) or as a projection on the wall. It is possible to have individual images from a series printed. But the natural medium for my digital pictures and series is the screen or the projection onto the wall.

The unique items and limited editions receive the “Certificate of Uniqueness for digital artworks” from me. All images/photos/videos are electronically signed and certified. Currently, I have created a number of multimedia pieces as an open edition to give interested people the opportunity to acquire their first works of art cheaply and maybe get enthusiastic about collecting art.

Landscape USA 263, 2018

What was the recent piece you’ve enjoyed working on the most, and why?

Marija: I recently performed various audiovisual experiments that involved me as a part of the experiment. It was a lot of fun to see what happened. It was funny. I felt like a little, playful, curious girl who was just learning the secrets of life.

Vransko jezero Croatia 029, 2020

What’s the most challenging part of your artistic process? And how do you overcome it?

Marija: Hard to say. It’s strange: Occasionally I’m completely enthusiastic, I know exactly what and how I’m doing what. But when I start shaping photos, it’s bewitched – nothing works. Conversely, if I try something out in a playful way – wonderful color mixes and contrasts come about. Technically, that’s unpredictable.

What do I do? I leave everything and go out to the park. Hear birds chirp and children laugh. Observe the adults and the ducks in the pond. Then I run back.

Transcendentia 01, 2017

What are some of the stories behind your work?

Marija: My life.

Stones are in flower 05, 2017

What’s next on the horizon for you?

Marija: In the beautiful, small town of Murter, on the island Murter (Croatia, Dalmatia), I would like to open a gallery for digital and audiovisual art – maybe in the summer of this year.

Mysterious Cambodia 01-2020

To find out more about Marija and her art, please check:

Website

Instagram

Thank you!

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