Exclusive Interview with Reshat Ameti – Painter
NY Glam: Tell us a little about yourself and your career beginnings.
When I talk about myself, I always feel uncomfortable! We live within ourselves and are unable to see ourselves from the outside! (I also have this feeling when I hear my voice on TV or radio!) I believe it is easier for portraitists who do self-portraits!
I was born in the town of Gostivar, in the western part of the beautiful country of North Macedonia, into an Albanian family with a tradition of talent for fine arts! My father was very talented, but due to economic reasons he did not have the opportunity to develop his talent. But he made sacrifices to enable me to develop financially and spiritually the talent I inherited from him. I went to a secondary art school in Skopje, where I also graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, and then I got my master’s degree in Pristina.
Beginnings in the professional world are always difficult, especially in small environments where there is a lack of cultural infrastructure, traditions, and higher levels of consumption of true artistic values. But I never gave up. I believed in my world, which for that environment was a bit utopian! But it was not long before I started gravitating towards bigger cities and the first presentations of my art started, and so far,I have been permanently represented in almost every country in the world that matters to art.
NY Glam: What projects are you currently working on?
I am preparing for the realization of an idea that originates from my painting cycle “Breakthrough of Light”, which I want to convey in a multimedia artistic expression. As an artistic realization, it is more complex, requiring the engagement of more people from different artistic media! I used to make some ‘sketches’, but now I materialize it more strongly!
The project is multimedia and titled “Breakthrough of Light”. It is a correlation between fine art and other types of artistic expression: music – stage performance and video art. The project will be implemented in a space – a stage adapted for artistic performances!
The anthological saying: “And there be light…” shows that, basically, light is the cause of the physical perception of the world and everything that surrounds us, but even the highest level of spiritual perceptual light, is achieved only through art and through artistic, musical, rhythmic, and other experience.
Through the connection of fine art, music, ballet, we actually go through divine magical experiences and taste all the nectar of life. Through this multimedia project and the method of implementation, we feel and experience the beauty and truth of existence, all dilemmas are unnecessary and disappear from the pure flickering of the light of art, which completely surrounds the body and soul. The project also requires higher financial costs! I hope that by the end of the year it will be ready for implementation!
NY Glam: What art do you most identify with?
I prefer it to be my art, but since we are not a solitary ‘product’ and it is natural to be influenced by the artistic environment and time we exist in, I will still have an artistic expression that will associate with well-known artistic identities. Previously, art critics identified me as an artist of ‘Lyrical Geometry’, while now as an artist of ‘Abstract Symbolism’! The latter is currently closest to my artistic philosophy. I think that art will be more powerful if the artist uses the creative source that is closest to him, that he experiences every day, than to take other artistic expressions, to ‘imitate’ artistic values that have nothing to do with his cultural time and space, that have nothing to do with his life experience! I remember a French artist saying, “I cry when I see that the Japanese painter paints like me. I myself am redundant, let alone someone else who has the opportunity to create in an autochthonous way, as the Japanese does in this case”!‼ So, art is more powerful when it is inspired and originates fromthe place where an artist lives and breathes!
NY Glam: What themes do you pursue?
I pursue many artistic interests and themes. Magic and inspiration in art are often a mystery even to the artist himself. In some cases, they appear quite suddenly and by chance, not noticing that the Magic has occurred. At the beginning of my career, I increasingly pursued production of geometric compositions. I started with a more serious approach to geometry by formulating my esthetic and philosophical idea, making a symbiosis between the forms created by man, angular forms, vertical forms, which are associated with architectural but also totemic forms, static forms without life cycle, and forms produced by nature. These are free forms, forms without angles, evolutive, dynamic forms such as rivers, mountains, the sky, forms with constant movement, with birth, growth, with a life cycle and alluding that man must be in harmony with nature.
Then gradually, researching also in other experiences of geometric performances, I discovered that there are also many geometric stylizations in folklore, and with this slight influence, the formation of the cycle of my work ‘From Tradition’ begins, it is also the basis of my work so far, and I cannot separate the first stub. Maybe it was influenced by the scene that I remember when my grandmother was making esthetic textile products on a loom, weaving carpets, aprons, etc., during my childhood. I noticed that at first, she made geometric shapes, small squares and thus made realizations and geometric stylizations with national, mythological, and natural motifs, etc. It influenced me to be motivated by national folklore. I did not copy the national motifs as they are, but stylized them in my own way, giving them more imagination and free brushstrokes and various dynamic options of the composition, harmonization of warm and cold colors, a moving composition.
And gradually, in the course of my artistic evolution, I get higher “tonalities” of sensitivity and this contributes to my current cycle entitled “Breakthrough of Light”, where I have more artistic realizations, while the center of the canvas is dominated by a focus that spontaneously radiates light throughout the entire space of the painting. The basic idea in this cycle is to reflect more spiritual light than physical material by means of artistic language and color elements. Therefore, the artistic realization of the painting initiates a state of mind that radiates purity, openness, and that state can only be experienced if there is a center with light through the tone of the color, which fills the entire space of the canvases and in general when the realization of the painting has force of visual and spiritual gravity.
NY Glam: What is your favorite artwork?
And this question often causes me dilemmas as to what is the correct answer. It seems to me that I have given my whole soul and my artistic skill to every work I have created, so it follows that every work has a central part in my soul. However, certainly without my rational awareness, secretly within me, I have a favorite work. In order not to owe you the answer, I will highlight the work from the cycle “Center and Margin”, where I think I am more specific and where my artistic talent and philosophy are comprehensive. It is a work produced in 2016, in a classic technique; oil on canvas and it is a polyptych with the dimension of 160 x 160 cm. For the production of this artwork,12 smaller fabrics were used that merge with the central one. The underlying motif of the composition is a rounded geometric form located in the middle of the composition of the supporting canvas. The motifs in the twelve fabrics that connect to the central canvas are freer, with undefined forms that evolve from one form to another, with rich coloristic values that create harmonious nuances, to give the composition a gradual magic move. Overall, the work has a strict purposeful composition, is dynamic and has the illusion of three-dimensional performance and visual gravity.
NY Glam: Tells us about some of your recent exhibitions. What memorable responses have you had to your work?
One of the recent exhibitions that was worth remembering in several dimensions was my last exhibition at the National Gallery of the Republic of North Macedonia. The exhibition titled “Reshat Ameti – 30 Years of Art”, where I had the rare opportunity to present all my work in these 30 years. Art lovers had the opportunity to see my 30-year artistic oeuvre. The official opening was attended by all important figures from the world of art, but also almost the entire government establishment, such as the President of the Parliament, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister of Culture, MPs from various parties, numerous media.
For the works I exhibited, there were many positive reactions, new offers for exhibitions, sales of the works, invitations to television media, interviews and many other things characteristic of a successful exhibition. What was special was that everything was organized with a protocol for pandemic conditions, so that the art lovers waited for hours to enter the gallery…
NY Glam: Tell us about one of your projects which you are very proud of.
Throughout my professional career I have carried out many projects that I can be proud of! The exhibition at the Museum of the City of Skopje in 2003! It was an event that is still mentioned today, there were so many visitors that I thought the whole country was there! It is also worth mentioning the award by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of North Macedonia for lifetime achievement in art and culture, participation in the biennial in Beijing, the last exhibition held at the National Gallery, exhibition in New York City in 1997 at the TAI Institute gallery etc. Thus, there are really so many projects that I can be proud of and I find it hard to rank them. Each of them had a special weight in my artistic journey.
NY Glam: What does “being creative” mean to you?
Being creative, for me, not only means being more interested in the environment and different situations, but it is a more direct way to get to know yourself! The more creative you are, the better you will begin to know yourself. It is important to put yourself into temptation, how to manage a situation without a solution! Then you will see what “material” you are made of, how you can make decisions that radiate creativity where everyone will benefit. I often quote the American saying “win-win situation”, every achievement that corresponds to this definition is the best creativity.
NY Glam: What are you trying to communicate with your art?
Through the connection of art, we communicate with the environment, so I believe that with my art I convey messages that touch the soul, convey my artistic light through colors and artistic language, art lovers should experience the beauty of visual existence, feel divine vibrations, to be motivated to be more human and feel more important for their physical and spiritual presence in this very world.
Science recognizes three conditions for the development of a profession and a true artist: talent, environment, and activity! If these conditions are met, we have a full human and spiritual fulfillment of the human being.
NY Glam: What role does the Artist have in Society?
I believe that an artist with a constant, sincere commitment to the presentation of artistic messages that embody human dimensions always has the power to change society. Creativity is a divine category; we artists want to say that we are here next to God. I believe that this spiritual creative force will exist as long as the human being itself will exist and will always make a difference in society, be it in social, political and in many other dimensions and categories in the general life of society.
Through art, the human soul develops and nurtures, man becomes more educated, more fulfilled, gentler in communication, more easily accepts all the phenomena of life… So, through all artistic genres: fine art, music, literature, in fact human civilization passes through the divine magical experiences and perceptions of all the nectars of life. Through art, the beauty and truth of existence are felt, all dilemmas are unnecessary and disappear from the pure radiance of art, and it is natural that this particular quality and spiritual strength positively influence politics as well as other activities of society.
NY Glam: What are your thoughts on being an artist in today’s world?
Being an artist today is easier than in other periods of humanity and today’s artists have more advantages than those of the past! Despite the difficulties, the excessive globalization where artistic identities are quickly lost, the extremely loaded art market, protectionism, incorrectness and many other social deviations in the world of art, I believe that we live in a better period of humanity (except the pandemic period) and this I can I argue from the aspect of technical-technological advantage! Furthermore, the opportunities for developing other mediums of visual art, creating contemporary expressions with more sophisticated materials to produce a work of art are limitless! So today, being an artist has great opportunities to create art! However, there are also great difficulties in the artistic journey! The artist at this moment must have a strong character, have confidence in himself, this journey is not a ‘sprint’ but a ‘marathon’, where the most resilient and brave can manage to leave artistic traces and ‘scratch’ time with their own art.
NY Glam: How has painting influenced your life?
Painting has become part of the meaning of my existence, in fact I do not remember my life without painting, which means that every category of my life, emotional, spiritual, professional experiences, are closely related to this noble profession.
NY Glam: What art movement or artist would you say influences your work most?
Throughout the history of art, there are many interesting movements that have the power of influence, but preferring to find my own artistic truth, I have not fallen into the ‘trap’ of artistic movements that had the power of influence!
At the beginning of my studies, my interest was focused on Surrealism, more specifically on Salvador Dali, but I realized the ideas more in my head than on canvas. Thus, gradually, without a clear concept, I was increasingly attracted to the geometric realization in the background of the surrealist composition. Against that background, I followed the secrets of the unknown, so that, gradually, I was increasingly attracted to geometrical accomplishment. And with an artistic approach I preserved my individual purity in the creation of personal artistic philosophy, certainly using everything that is in my personal function of artistic perception and the final production of the work of art that should have the personal artistic trait without being closely related to any current artistic movement. But regardless of the strength of the artistic idea, the work must always have the strength to show the artistic language, to possess the power of visual and spiritual gravity!
NY Glam: What can we expect from you this year?
I have two solo exhibitions waiting for me, one in Croatia and the other in Slovenia! I am also negotiating an art-happening in New York, but we will see how things go in this direction.
NY Glam: Can you share with us three favorite things about your city/culture?
For me, the three favorite qualities are: hospitality, nature, and family respect.
NY Glam: Where can everyone keep up with you to learn more? …social media… website
Everyone can find me on social networks such as Instagram and Facebook, where these networks have more of a website function than that of a social aspect!
On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/reshat.ameti/
Then, on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/reshat.ameti.9/
I can also be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.