In­spired by na­ture, this Syd­ney artist’s work is in full bloom

Inside Out (Australia) - - Contents - EDITED BY LOUISA BATHGATE

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.

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