Maya Kulenovic (Sarajevo,1975) has exhibited extensively in Europe, USA and her country of Canada. Her paintings can be found in significant collections worldwide. A book on her paintings, with a text by British author, curator, and art critic Edward Lucie-Smith, was published by d’jonge Hond in the Netherlands, in 2008. She studied art at Ontario College of Art and Design University, Toronto(Canada)as well as at Mi mar Sinan University inIstanbul(Turkey) and at Chelsea College of Art and Design (Masters of Art) in London,(UK).
Maya Kulenovic uses the technique of oil on canvas in a unique manner. Her works are built up of numerous transparent glazing layers, some of which she intentionally subjects to damage by scraping and solvents, giving them depth and a sense of life. Her palette is primarily subdued, to a degree reminiscent of old photographs. At first glance, Maya’s work is figurative: her main themes are faces, landscapes, and architecture.
However, the recognizable imagery is not the essence of her works. Maya’s intentis to capture an ambience or psychological state, whileinitiating a debate between the onlooker and her works.
Naturally, the war in her native country of Yugoslavia made a deep impression on Maya Kulenovic, but it would bean error of interpretation to read her work merely in light of this dramatic conflict. Her paintings are far more universal, dealing with cycles of time, resilience, and renewal. Maya Kulenovic’s work is as an old town, built layer up on layer, the new coming forth from ruins. The structure of a town is dictated by its past, buildings are built on older buildings, destroyed because of old age or consumed by fire or war. Layer over layer of construction, destruction and reconstruction, creating a deep feeling of the past, present and indeed future.
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