Nikoleta Sekulovic, Kosmos, 2017, acrylic and graphite on canvas, 165 x 155 cm
Aletheia - the Greek philosophical term that defines ‘unveiling, uncovering, the Greek notion of Truth
Nikoleta Sekulovic creates in the tradition of Odalisque portraiture, and yet by choosing to paint mothers, she redefines her subject as both parent and muse.
In a muted palette and void of props and distractions, Sekulovic depicts the female form - stripped of external expectations and in a state of authenticity, as opposed to more traditional expressions of sexuality. The looser lines celebrate the imperfections and irregularities of the human body and recall Egon Schiele's Vienna and the minimalism of Gustav Klimt's studies:
'My approach so far has been to focus on less rather than more. I try to use fewer lines and a simple colour palette. I search for ways to bring movement into the contours of the figure or into the skin. I believe the figure needs to breath. It needs to reflect something of the human fabric, which is that we are both orderly as well as complex, angular as well as curved.'
Nikoleta Sekulovic, Atoma, 2017, acrylic and graphite on canvas, 120 x 225 cm, 47 1/4 x 88 5/8 in
A mother herself, Sekulovic’s process becomes as much about productivity as about reduction - a time to step back into the studio space for still reflection on the different elements of her subject matter, who in turn is pared down and given quietude on the canvas. As Sekulovic has observed, ‘muse’ as a noun represents a source of artistic inspiration. But as a verb, it means ‘to think about something carefully and for a long time’.
Presently living and creating in Madrid, Sekulovic was born in Rome to a German mother and a Serbian father. She has worked in London, Paris and New York, exhibiting across these cities. Her first collection for the Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery, the exhibition's paintings take their titles from the fundamental principles of Greek philosophy. Just as Sekulovic looks back on these basic precepts for inspiration, she in turn presents an unadulterated and honest femininity.
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