Milena ZeVu, and the power of a never-ending performance: ArtWalks
What are your latest projects?
My latest project is called ArtWalks. After fifteen years of experimenting with crystals as a primary material for creating paintings and sculptures, I have moved onto researching the vibrations, connections and the bond between my artwork and myself as an artist. I have also started taking it outside - into the open spaces. My feeling is that art in general is somehow stuck today and needs a ‘way out’, in order to be more accessible and inspiring to a wider audience. ArtWalks is about self-reflection, growth, and femininity and of being more present in times of enormous amounts of information around us. Also, I explore how to age gracefully and improve myself each day.
What is your inspiration behind the concept of ArtWalks?
My inspiration has always been to go ‘deeper than I think’ which meant to have more time to think, to act and create something different, not seen before, because I think an artist should try to draw attention to things that we may not see or do not have time to see.
What are your most featured collections in the ArtWalks series?
Certainly the artwork from the ArtWalks Cities collection ‘ArtWalks Belgrade 139’ which was selected for the 250th Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in London in 2018, curated by the British artist Grayson Perry, whom I greatly respect. On one side, it was a confirmation that I was on the right path; on the other side it was very interesting for me to see ArtWalks in relation to many other pieces of art.
In what way have you used the technical part, materials and space for creating the ArtWalks series?
ArtWalks is a multidisciplinary concept, which involves many techniques, primarily painting, but also performance, living sculpture/model, graffiti, installation, photography…in making the ArtWalks, I would step out on to the busy streets of New York or other cities, with a painting on my shoulders and would walk in a dress, which was also part of the painting. I would also be using movement and body art…it’s a holistic approach to the process of creation.
Talking about the process of your creation, is it spontaneous or each step is planned in advance? And why?
It is planned and spontaneous at the same time. My creative process starts with meditation, so once I get a clear vision, I start planning and working on production. However, for the ArtWalks, I never know what might happen. Actually, some of the best works have been completely question of a moment or just a chain of events in the creative process.
What is the role of audience in relation to your artworks?
As ArtWalks is a ‘walking creation’, obviously I’m provoking an interaction with the audience. The observer is faced with an object on the street, as it happened during the ‘ArtWalks Belgrade 139’, where you can see a puzzled street cleaner completely surprised by seeing an artist with a painting on her back. Thus, I am trying to provoke a deeper level of thinking in the observer.
Which mediums do you work in?
In ArtWalks, I have been using and blending various mediums, I was mixing, painting, matching… It was a very intense period, I was creating a unique art form, which would appear in one day and disappear in the next. I would destroy each ArtWalks in order to create a new one, like a phoenix rising from the ashes. That is when I realized I wanted to take my work out to the street. The artist becomes one with the artwork but when the artist is not present, the painting is left with a silhouette, a trace. I am very interested in these contrasts and what remains in the World behind us as artists.
Which is your favorite medium of fine art? And why?
Performance, as it can be very unpredictable.
Which artists have inspired you during your journey and why?
There are many artists who inspire me, especially female artist who were challenging what it meant to be an artist in their times. For example, Tamara de Lempicka and Milena Pavlovic Barilli, were 2 female artists who were both unique as personalities and artists. My homage to Tamara’s work ‘Dita in her Car’ was created with thousands of crystals, for which my muse was Dita Von Teese. My latest exhibition/ArtWalks performance ‘Milena’ was dedicated to Milena Pavlovic Barilli, the multi-talented Serbian artist who worked and died in New York in 1945.
What projects you plan to come up with in the future?
I plan to continue developing the ArtWalks project, also showing the impact we as humans have on nature. This is my new project ‘Deeper Thank You Think’.