Exclusive Interview with Gabriela Jozić -Painter
Gabriela Jozić is a 30-year-old painter and photographer from Rijeka, Croatia, where she is still living. She completed her university studies in painting department, at the Academy of Applied Arts in Rijeka (2010-2015) and obtained a master’s degree in art pedagogy. Previously, she graduated from the School of Applied Arts in Rijeka (2006-2010) for arranger and scene designer. In her proffessional carreer, she worked as an art teacher in primary schools and as a leader of art workshops for children and adults. Now she is also teaching art workshops and working in high school with teenegares with behavioral difficulties. In her own artistic work, she mostly express herself through painting and photography and she have won awards from both media. You can find her paintings in several galleries in her city. She is talented writer also, when she write stories on her blog, but photography and painting are still her priority. She had three personal exhibitions and participated in numerous Croatian group exhibitions and art events.
NY Glam: Tell us a little about yourself and your career beginnings.
I love to say that my career begin in primary school when my art teacher discover my talent and became my first mentor. Today we are still friends. After years, I became a teacher which is a humane job and I enjoying in it, but I would love to turn my personally artistic activities more into work. To be honest, I don’t like to talk much about myself, but I will try to say as much as possible in this interview because I am grateful to be a part of your magazine.
NY Glam: What projects are you currently working on?
Photography is maybe my dream paid job and because of that, I am currently taking a digital photography course because I want to learn more and get a degree from that medium, while I am building my own photography expression.
NY Glam: What themes do you pursue?
Friends call me “Cat lady” because people know me as a person who passionately loves cats, what is true. That’s why cats are my frequent inspiration and painting motif. Very frequent, but not the only one. We change through life, and my painting testifies to the stages of development and the concept of thinking. Chronologically, the pictures seem to be my personal diary. I also painted nudes, portraits and still life. I even had a notable abstract work “Autumn” from 2015 which was named the best student work at an one art show near my hometown and was at two exhibitions, but I am primarily a figurative artist. Abstraction is another sphere. I’m still young, so who knows where my art is going, but I’m pretty sure that cats will be a part of them forever. In photography, my highest interest is fashion photography.
NY Glam: What’s your favorite art work?
For me it is the most difficult question. I admit that I may be more in love with 20th century art only because of the evolution in the notion of aesthetics, but every age has great artistic achievements that marked that period and I really respect them all.
NY Glam: Tells us about some of your recent exhibitions. What memorable responses have you had to your work?
I had three personal exhibitions and many group ones. The last group exhibition was a exhibition of photographs. The expert jury told me that my photography immediately caught their eye, which is important. You know that photography has an X factor when you look at it and just think like “Wait. Wow.” In fact, I want to achieve that feeling in my photos.
NY Glam: Tell us about one of your projects which you are very proud of.
Here in my hometown, I organized a humanitarian exhibition for “Kitten save house”, association for the treatment and rescue of cats. This is my favorite exhibition so far because I am overjoyed to have been able to help with my art.
NY Glam: What does “being creative” mean to you?
At first, I want to say that being creative and being an artist is not the same thing. Being creative is great and useful in life, but not every creative work has artistic value. Creativity is the ability to find a new solution to a problem. Being creative is coping in certain situations, making life easier and more beautiful with your creativity. Creativity is also a lack of boredom and routine.
NY Glam: What are you trying to communicate with your art?
With myself, but I mean the process of work. The audience sees the product, but I am the author of the whole process, which more makes my personal art. For example, when I was painting the series “Nudes” from 2020, the most important thing for me was the process and way of working, physical contact with technique, inner mood and personality traits that I bring into the picture, but also read from it. But the motif of nude is a powerful communication with audiences because it provokes reactions, from curiosity and enthusiasm to bitterness and resentment. Therefore, I leave the recognizable part of the picture to the observer, and I express the personal part primarily to myself. One work of that series was the winner work in professional category on art manifestation “Pul Kaštela” in Croatia.
NY Glam: What role does the Artist have in Society?
While it is accepted that artists criticize current social issues and always have a big story behind the works, I personally think that it is not at all necessary for an artist to do so. It is freedom of choice and depends of author’s character. The role of an artist is primarily to be honest with himself, to reveal his reasons and interests and to create things, with all the mistakes and advances, as well as people who do other jobs. The role of the artist is to give their own contribution to society by revealing their authenticity.
NY Glam: What are your thoughts on being an artist in today’s world?
A few days ago, a random woman in a bakery told me: “Hey, are you an artist? Because you look like one.” It was a funny moment, but the point is that an artist looks like an artist, thinks like an artist, see like an artist. This means that an artist may be an identity with some specifics, but it is also a profession and we want to be appreciated for our work. Here in Croatia, generally, the profit is not very good, and we hope that visual artists will be rewarded for their presentations. For me, society imposes rules and my priorities are not always part of them. People won’t ask you if you’re proud or happy with your choice, but they will ask you if you have a well-paid job, even if you don’t like it. We are not all the same and we need to respect each other and not condemn someone’s choices. To be a successful artist for yourself and society at the same time today, you need to be an artist with good business skills on internet and in private life.
NY Glam: How has painting influenced your life?
Painting primarily influenced my schooling because after discovering my painting interests I decided to study art. And besides, it affected my own self-awareness. Through painting, I really got to know my character better, my true self as I really am, but also the part of myself that I want others to see. I have to mention that I have periods when I don’t paint for months and periods when I paint for months almost every day. Continuity is important, but painting is really personal to me, as a need I spend depending on my mood.
NY Glam: What art movement or artist would you say influences your work most?
I admire some of today’s artists whose work I follow on social media, but I truly respect and support everyone’s work even when the author’s handwriting doesn’t suit my interests. I actually think that current artists should learn for each other. Historic masterpieces are great and respectful examples for understanding art, but they need to stay in their time. It’s just my opinion.
NY Glam: What can we expect from you this year?
Honestly, I don’t have a plan, but I mentioned that I’m currently focused on learning digital photography so I hope this year will be the beginning of my photography evolution.
NY Glam: Can you share with us three favorite things about your city/culture?
Croatia is called “a land of a thousand islands”. It’s a magnificent country for many tourists every year, especially in summer. My city, Rijeka, is also close to the sea, but it is more of an industrial city and our largest port. Industries are closed today, but that is why the city has a specific atmosphere and an alternative vibe. Also, Rijeka was the European Capital of Culture 2020. and we enjoy the famous Rijeka Carnival, which is a big part of our tradition. And for the end, unfortunately, my place has a dark side. Many people, especially young ones, have moved out because of economic problems. I would say that Croatia is a paradise for tourists, but living here is not always easy. I hope it gets better, we deserve it.
NY Glam: Where can everyone keep up with you to learn more? …social media…website
To be honest, I’m pretty lazy with posting my work on social media and I know it’s not good in today’s world, but I do post sometimes, so you can find me on Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/gabriela_aesthetics/ and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/gabrielaaesthetics/