Milena Roglic (b.1978, Hamilton, ON) is a recent MFA graduate from York University (2014) who also holds a BFA from Concordia University (2004). She currently lives and works in Toronto, ON.
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In my paintings, I am interested in creating compositions out of clutter; representing precarious states within transitory urban landscapes by merging abstraction and representational elements. This motivation comes from a desire to capture a feeling or mood based on constantly changing environments while, at the same time, referencing my personal history. Unstable urban landscapes become a subject for me to reorganize and transform through painting to translate a visual vocabulary that is built on multiple spaces, varied textures and mixed surfaces. As a painter, I want to appropriate various precarious scenes by using painting as a tool to communicate an emotional consciousness while addressing themes of stability and uncertainty. By gathering information from my immediate surroundings and translating my considerations of an urban environment into a painterly language, I want to suggest a fragile and changeable world.
Working between image and paint application, trial and error make up the foundation for my studio practice. My process begins with a photographic image; taken with a cellular telephone. The photographic image documents the experience from personal expeditions while providing the backdrop i.e. the site, along with a compositional layout for each painting. Each image is then blurred, cropped and/or zoomed-in in such a way to disturb any logical visual perceptions. I paint while referring to the image; selectively picking out formal information to render through both representation and abstraction. I work until I reach a point of confusion and excitement. I make decisions based on feeling; pushing and pulling until a moment of uncertainty is captured.
I want to achieve a sense of ambiguity in my paintings, with traces of something familiar that may present an alternative perspective to be held by the viewer, something that is intriguing and unpredictable. This can be contributed by the way representational and non-representational forms resist each other; figuration and abstraction act as an apparatus to present oppositional elements in my work. Opposition to forms create dissonance; hard geometric structures collide with loose natural forms, shapes overlap and stack signifying ambiance and space while differing paint applications supply textural variations. Overall, the paintings represent an ambiguous atmosphere built up by conflicting formal approaches to stimulate curiosity in the viewing experience.