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Interview with a Light Sculptor: Marko Gavrilovic

Marko Gavrilovic

We are honoured to feature a very special interview with Marko Gavrilovic. Marko is an artist with a range of talents; one of which being light sculpture. He was kind enough to speak to us and answer our questions about his life, work and inspirations.

Tell us a bit about yourself! Where you’re from, your hobbies etc.

I am from Belgrade, a town on two rivers.

Seduced by art, my family and friends and a passionate fly fisherman, haunted by fresh waters.

From your bio it sounds like you have had a hunger to create from a very young age but when and how did you first become involved in light sculpture?

I became involved in light two years after my graduation. I started to experiment with various materials, types of construction and furniture design as at that time I was in interior design.

I started working on light constructions and objects so naturally that I don’t even remember exactly how I moved in to it, but I remember how I started to work on light sculptures.

As always, I was doing something with plastic. There were plenty of small parts around the studio that I didn't know what to do with. So I started to give them shape, to connect them in a form and from there things grew. Now...I'm cutting a small part of the whole piece.

You have a very varied portfolio of work and your light sculptures are striking to say the least. How would you describe your particular style?

I never wanted to be a part of a particular group or style. So when I saw plenty of originality, completely different in its expression and ideas and classified as Modern Art, I knew I had found a name that would fully correspond to what I'm doing; contemporary. Defined as “living at the same time, belonging to the same moment”.

For your light sculptures, your material of choice is plastic. What drew you to this material and what are the benefits of working with plastic with regard to light sculpture?

Plastic is a material that is stable in terms of it being very long lasting, easy to shape and available everywhere. It also has the ability to be heated to a certain temperature, followed by shaping and cooling to maintain the selected position, and it’s very convenient to be used with light.

The interesting thing about it is that light transmission through the different Plexiglas layers on a sculpture with a light system can give a completely different look to the sculpture without lights.

Who or what are your biggest inspirations for your art?

The biggest inspiration for me is nature. You can see variety of shapes and colors.
We admire its beauty and complexity in a naive way, we are reproducing its particles and because of that feel especially self-sufficient.

We feel great because we control a certain percentage of this giant, implying the existence of enormous complexity that essentially we do not understand. I always thought that serious creators should have inspiration from the work of others, but only to be inspired, to be energized; with image, with a story, developing process, and final piece.

Everyone is unique, so we have to develop that uniqueness in our own way.

Aside from being a light sculptor, you are also a draftsman and a painter. Do you draw from your experiences in these areas to influence your work in light sculpture?

I’m always dividing these two areas. I see both painting and sculpture as divine
disciplines, but sculpture often puts you on the ground, puts you in the real world. It helps me to come back from the imagination of painting and drawing. Some sculptures present interlace with the drawing, but for now paintings and sculptures take different paths. This doesn’t mean that one day they wouldn't merge into one.

What has been your favourite piece? Either to work on or as the finished result?

It is a piece on which I am currently working. It is called “Enlightened man”. Around two meters high, it’s a solid male figure made from Plexiglas.

Your art has been displayed around the world but what do you feel has been your greatest achievement to date?

When I make a new line and go further in my work, when I find a new way to deal with old problems. This is what moves me the most and the only thing that is essential.

The previous achievements make a good resume, but they mean more to others than to me.

It's simply because they stayed in the past, and I was in a new reality already.

Do you have any dream commissions?

Yes… it would be a complex, big work, which will be self-sustained. Not in one piece, but more like a group of pieces suspended in the air. One of which has to be in nature and a second identical in the city... and both would fit perfectly in these two environments...
And not to forget...light...

What advice do you have for anyone who might be interested in becoming involved with light sculpture?

First of all you need to have interests and commitment.

Before you start, you have to choose the right materials to work with, the one that suits you best.

Be modern and trendy if you like, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to use the latest material. That is why the working technique that you are familiar with could be a good start.

You could go from scratch, but it is easier to begin with things that you are already doing well before you enter an unknown field.

Don’t waste your time on the techniques of others. Try to learn from them, but through a process they use, not by using their style and language. Build your own instead.

You have to be open to learn new things all the time, to evolve from an initial idea to a larger picture. In this World, things are developing so fast because at this point, to light your object is a 30% of the job.

Some light sculptures don’t need a complex light. On the other hand, you have to think in advance how you are going to light your sculpture while you are making it.

This is a process where I’m still learning, and sometimes I have to ask for professional advice. But in the future where I’m planning to be more and more complex with construction and sculpture structure, I think that my ability to resolve all this by myself will definitely grow.

Thanks again to Marko! Be sure to visit his blog and other website Notus Light.

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