Inspired by nature, this Sydney artist’s work is in full bloom
Big is beautiful for floral artist Alesandro Ljubicic
You own and run your own art supplies store. How did that begin? The idea came to me during my final year at university. I wanted to paint for a living, but funding fine art materials on a student’s budget was tricky, so I thought, “why not open my own store?”. It was originally online, and when this gained traction, my parents invested everything into my dream and we opened The Sydney Art Store a month later. We’ve now been open for 11 years. Your artwork is known for its sculptural qualities, depth and layers – what inspires this generosity of application? My style of painting is a reflection of who I am as a person and what comes to me naturally. Painting is an expression of how I use my body, so I find myself using my whole body when I paint, creating the large, thick strokes I’ve become known for. Why do you focus on large florals? I’m really inspired by the beauty in nature all around us. To me, florals are the perfect expression of this – who doesn’t have a memory of a beautiful bouquet of flowers, or of walking through a garden filled with blooms? Being able to project this beauty onto my canvas is a joy and the vibrant colour of the flowers combined with my large, gestural, abstract style of painting is a perfect match. What’s your favourite piece? Blooming Universe 2015 is a portrait I did of my wife, Monika, when she won Miss Universe Australia to demonstrate how proud I was of her for going after her dreams. The piece means a lot to both of us and is still hanging in our dining room. Can you tell us about your studio space? My studio is located above my store. It’s about 100 square metres of paint-covered walls – some people claim they can’t see the floor due to all the opened tins of oil paint scattered across the floor, but to me it’s an organised mess and I know exactly where everything is. You recently collaborated with Ecoya on the limited-edition Summer Garden collection. How did that come about? Collaborating with Ecoya was really exciting as I’ve loved the brand for many years. Ecoya approached me with a brief for each limited-edition candle. I selected the perfect paintings to bring them to life and adapted them for the packaging. What are you working on now? A few large private commissions before starting to plan next year’s exhibition in Melbourne with Scott Livesey Galleries and a small show in Montreal, Canada.
Artist Alesandro Ljubicic in his studio with his Magnolia Linen Mist (2017) (above left) draws inspiration for his artworks from the beauty of botanicals. Alesandro’s signature large, thick brush strokes are evidentin his Blue Azurin Rose Eva (2018) (left). His Homage to Klein, Table (2016) (below) and collaboration with Ecoya for its limited-edition Summer Garden collection (above) also showcase his love of vibrant colours and design.