Art - Exclusive Interview with Tanja McKinley.
My work is..
‘…filled with emotions, and I want the viewer to feel them too.’
Tanja McKinley is causing quite the stir in the world of abstract art. Having exhibited her work all over the world she came to my attention on instagram and along with her 22.6k followers, I too was a fan. Graduating from the University of Belgrade with an MA in fine art under Professor Zoran Vuković and an active member of the association of fine artists of Serbia, Tanja is looking forward to her next exhibition in La Artcore in Los Angeles, California in April of 2019. Abstract art can be a mystery to some as the familiarity with the realism of the subject matter is blended, mixed and distorted beyond recognition on the cavas leaving the viewer lost and detached from the artists work. However, abstract painting is the extreme expression of human emotion and thus to love and understand it, you must see and feel the artists work with your heart: ‘My work is filled with emotions, and I want the viewer to feel them too.’
(The Interview was conducted between Thursday the 20th & Saturday the 29th of December. There has been minimal editing in order to preserve the authenticity of interview.)
Hi Tanja, can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
I was born and finished faculty of fine arts in Belgrade Serbia. I also finished got my masters there at the same college. I have been having lots of exhibitions. My style is abstract since I was in college, so I've been painting abstract paintings 20 years now. I moved to LA for love, and will have exhibition at LA Artcore in April 2019 and I'm looking forward to it.
What is your earliest artistic memory?
When I was little I went on an excursion to the Louvre. I fell in love with the Mona Lisa. I remember it even when I was little that something was magic about that painting and it engraved in my memory so deeply I could still relive that moment so vividly.
‘I draw to warm up before I begin painting.’
So was your art of a classical style when you first started painting?
I painted realistic before I entered college for my masters because it was required. I painted realistic for 2 years in college before i could get to my true love, abstract!
Why did you become an abstract painter?
It wasnt my choice my style led me to that direction that i had to do that and it came naturally. It just happened!
‘View from my studio’
Can you remember the exact point you began your journey into abstract painting? Was there a moment like when you saw the Mona Lisa?
It wasn’t one moment it was more like one phase leads to the other until I became an abstract artist.
What was your first phase?
After realistically phase I painted figuees in an abstract way. For example, Id paint a model in a completely abstract way but had some form.
So, how do you transition from classical to abstract painting?
The key of understand abstract art is to be open when you stand in front of abstract painting is just to be open without trying to understand anything. Abstract art you will like it or not, there’s no in between. It either speaks to you and gives yoiu a certain feeling or it doesnt. It happened spontaneously and naturally. I didnt even notice how or when. I knew I found my style as soon as I began painting abstract. I knew I was at home.
How do you find the line in abstract your work?
How to find the line...thats a great question! In abstract your painting for feelibg rather than strict copying of what you see, so you just know it in your heart, get that feeling of satisfaction and you know when the painting is done. My work is filled with emotions, and i want the viewer to feel them too.
How would you explain your work to someone who had never seen one of your paintings before?
I would tell to her/him that it's hard to explain with words because I speak throw colors, strikes, lines, spots, etc... My paintings are vibrant, colourful, energetic and abstract.. Something you can't immediately find a shape for..
What's next for Tanja McKinley?
Glade you ask, I'm preparing my first solo exhibition at LA Artcore center, down town LA. I'm looking forward very much!
Finally, what advice would you give your younger self?
That's a hard question! Maybe the painting is not just an amazing part in the studio it's a lot more so to think twice!
(Interview terminated on Saturday 29th of December at 23:00pm)
Buy work by Tanja McKinley here.
Next Sunday on Chrystal