Marina Stankovic | Contemporary drawings

Interview D. Foertig
puplished on
January 26, 2021
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Always a pleasure to see works from the artist Marina Stankovic at this years Parallel Vienna 2021 Art Fair  at the Semmelweis Klinik Vienna. Read the full Artist feature here in the Munchies Art Club:

Who is Marina Stankovic?

Marina Stankovic is a young contemporary artist, living and studying in Vienna at the Academy of Fine Arts. We discovered Marina at the Academy of Fine Arts 'Rundgang' (Exhibition organized for the students by the Academy) and knew there was great potential in this budding artist.

Today almost a year later we introduce to you the artists story and her works.

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Marina Stankovic

Marina [born in 1989] graduated as an architect at the Architecture Faculty of the University of Belgrade in 2014. She enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in 2018 where she is currently based and has her art practice.

The young artist is simultaneously still practicing architecture. From project concepts of utopias, dystopias, and heterotopias to smaller and more intimate drawings and objects, going back and forth between different scales.

Marina explores diverse notions of a place, from a psychological one, as mental images to the possibilities of physical space.

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02-Killing, Ethics & War series | 2019 | 42 x 30 cm | Graphite on paper

We asked the artist some questions and this is what she told us:

Tell us a bit about yourself

I was born in a small town at the foot of the Balkan mountain where I grew up surrounded by nature. When I was eighteen, I moved to Belgrade where I got an architecture degree.

After working as an architect in cities like Belgrade, Shanghai, and Astana while doing art only as a late-at-night hobby I decided it was time to flip the priorities and moved to Vienna to study art at the Academy.

I dream about completing that circle and returning to the forests where I could create.

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Head space s3 | 2019| 50 x 65 cm | Charcoal on paper | Artwork is available in our store

When and how did you realize that you are an artist?

I believe that we are all born as artists, it is just a question of whether you and the world around you contributed to keeping that part of yourself alive and well.

I remember being a kid and really knowing that I am an artist and that that is what I want to do in life, so I just kept nurturing that.
pulsating, graphite, Serbian, studio, atelier, work space,
Head space s2 | 2019 | 42 x 58cm | Charcoal on paper | Artwork is available in our store.

Who are your favorite artists?

There is a certain feeling we all carry in our stomach and chests and that feeling is different in everyone and it follows us our entire life.

The artists I enjoy the most are the ones who seem to have transported that feeling into their work, in whose work one can seem to sense what their bones and thoughts felt like to them.

There are no favorites but for the reason above I always admired the strength and writings of Agnes Martin or the spiritual sensibility of Ana Mendieta, the bold playfulness of Phyllida Barlow, and the stoicism of Ljuba Popovic.

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Framed work

Which is your favorite piece and why?

There is a cup I made in my fist in the series of experimentation with clay processing that I feel a special connection to. It was made by collecting clay-rich soil from the area where I was born, processing it, filtering, shaping, drying, firing, all with the most basic tools and techniques that go far back in the history of humanity.

The final result was unpredictable but beautiful and it felt like a culmination of many nights quietly doing these manual and mundane tasks that were needed to be done to get to that particular object.

It felt like a product of a great journey, taking the earth which created me and shaping it with the mechanics of my body, my thoughts, fears, expectations, and desires.
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Head space s1 | 2019 | 42 x 58 cm | Charcoal on paper | Artwork is available in our store

Where do you create?

It is nice to have the conditions to work at the Academy where we have our own studio spaces and various workshops at our disposal.

I always try to make the most use of it but, late at night when my insomnia hits, a lot of the work is done at my home. This summer, with the new social norms we all need to adhere to and get used to, the forest near Vienna became one of my favorite places to create.

restrictions, nature, diverse, Belgrade, physical, balkan
01-Killing, Ethics & War series | 2019 | 42 x 30 cm | Graphite on paper | Artwork is available in our store

What is your creative process?

Gurdjieff, the esoteric guru that influenced many artists like Hilma af Klint and Kandinsky, referred to the artist as an empty light. There the artist is merely a medium guided by some higher force that is beyond her or him.

Even though there are many roles of an artist today that romantic notion of the creative state of the mind stayed with me.

With the drawings that I do, I am interested in the creative process itself and that feeling of being completely immersed in one (in the zone, flow state, or altered state as some would call it).

Therefore, my process begins with trying to empty my mind and then see where the drawing would take me.

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In the artists studio at the Academy of Fine Arts | Vienna

What does the drawing want from me, how far can I push it, will it surprise me, and what was that image that came out the result of my subconscious, aesthetic sensibility, something higher, my mechanics, or perhaps just my habits?

Did the environment you grew up in influence your work?

I think it had to, it made me who I am and therefore it continues to make my work too.

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05-Killing, Ethics & War series | 2019 | 42 x 30 cm | Graphite on paper | Artwork is available in our store

What is your relationship with social media?

I try hard to restrict my consumption but, at the same time, I think that it is a great tool for creators who can, through it, have greater autonomy in showcasing their work and connecting with others.

artist to watch, emerging, budding, artistry, mixed media
03-Killing, Ethics & War series | 2019 | 42 x 30 cm | Graphite on paper | Artwork is available in our store

When do you do your best work?

This will sound super weird but I think I do my best work at the time of the month before my period starts.

It just makes me eager to create something.

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Composition 12 | 2019 | 42 x 30 cm | Graphite on paper | Artwork is available in our store

What makes you laugh?

Just people being people and not making a big fuss about it.

What is the bravest thing you have ever done?

I got up this morning.

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Concept for a meeting spot for lovers | 2019 | 42 x 30 cm | Graphite on paper | Artwork is available in our store.

Which keywords describe you and your art best?

The obvious ones: graphite, drawing, abstract, expression, organic, fluid, pulsating

Photo credits go to:

Željka Aleksić

Follow the artist on Instagram:

A big thank you to Marina who trusted us from the start and was oh so patient with us.