Mirela Kulović (b. Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Mirela holds a masters degree in industrial engineering from the University of Split in Croatia. Shortly after graduating, Mirela decided to change the course of her career and dedicated herself to painting and drawing instead. Since 2016 she has exhibited in Boston area with select solo shows at Bromfield Gallery, Cambridge Art Association, Inside-OUT Gallery and Brookline Arts Center and more than twenty juried group shows. Her work was published in Studio Visit Magazine Vol. 38., Gracanicki Glasnik br. 47 and Boston Art Review.
My artwork is driven by the complexity of a young woman's experience living in the Balkans. Being born in Bosnia and Herzegovina and being surrounded by the different cultures and religions from the east and west, brought much richness to my personal life which is often reflected in my work. This richness of life often included violent experiences.
My primary form of expression is drawing. Drawing is like an imprint. Like evidence. It is like breathing. It discovers memory which is hidden in the body and the unconscious part of the brain. What drives me to drawing practice is the simplicity of execution without previous preparation. Drawing deepens ability to see and experience things.
I am concerned with the question about what role does the artist play in society? I am very drawn to Joseph Beuys’s concept of social sculpture. I know an artist can have a big impact on society. This romantic idea about artists as someone who saves the world can be questioned and could be seen as myth-making. However, my art has literally saved my life many times. It gives me a purpose to live and tools to do my research about mysteries of life.
With my artwork, I want to open the dialogue with myself and people around me. With art, I want to be as closer as possible to my full potential as a human being.
"I most enjoy working on a small, intimate scale. Paper size between 8” and 18” best suits my needs because it allows me, as an artist and later as a viewer, to come close and experience intimacy and subtle emotions. Wanting to keep a distraction at a minimum, I often use very simple mediums, like graphite, pastels, ink, and sometimes candle wax. Each of my works begins with accidental marks to which I respond to make a satisfying composition."
"Besides working on paper, I like the texture and the messy process of painting with oils on canvas. I often use strong, violent hand movements and rugs to introduce uncertainty and violence into my process. Applying many layers of oil paint and concentrating on its scent, thickness, and fluidity, I am able to unlock deeper sensations and memories."
"Painting process opens for me the complex space where I bring all the things I have forgotten but I experience the present moment at the same time. This is true during work and later when I observe my paintings in the gallery setting.
To experience artwork one has to let instinct guide him or her, rather than intellect."