Born in Bosnia in 1986, Alesandro Ljubicic moved to Australia with his family in 1991. Awarded the William Fletcher Scholarship, Alessandro was a finalist in the 2009 Paddington Art Prize and 2010’s Doug Moran National Portrait Prize. His latest exhibition is in collaboration with talented Sydney florist Sean Cook of Mr. Cook Flowers in Double Bay. Alesandro’s intensely colourful and textured oil paintings on linen are inspired by Sean’s floral arrangements.
I spoke with Alesandro about his current body of work as the show opened. I begin by asking how old he was when he created his first painting: “I was in Year 2 and decided to paint the harbour bridge, my teacher showed the principal and I won an award.”
Many years later a scholarship to the National Art School put paid to a potential career as a professional basketball player, and took Alesandro on another path: “I loved [painting], but was not sure where it would take me.”
He remembers using more materials in his work than he could afford, and used his scholarship to fund a business idea that led to the creation of The Sydney Art Store, now one of the largest suppliers of fine art materials in Sydney.
Working in the store during the day, Alesandro paints at night. “The store is a support for me, I love to be surrounded by artists, and be inspired by them. I’m surrounded by colour and materials every day, and am talking with artists who are sorting through problems in their own work. I work in my studio above the store between 6pm, sometimes until 3am during the week.”
While some works can take three months, others may be complete after a concentrated six hours. And those six-hour pieces are created without Alesandro leaving his canvas, not even for a glass of water. “I start the work and I don’t know where the ending is, every brush stroke guides you to another brush stroke.”
Describing his work as “representational, but ambiguous” this young artist talks about how “one stroke may mean 10 different things for 10 different people” and the importance of balance in his work. He talks about “not…picking a style, but showing the viewer what I see.”
Alesandro cites Laura Jones, Paul Davies, Michael Muir and Jasper White as influences and says his “work right now is coming from a good place with positive energy” and how he likes to make people smile. You can view Alesandro’s latest exhibition at Art2Muse until 24 November.
11 – 28 November 2014
357 New South Head Road, Double Bay – Sydney
10am – 4pm Tuesday
10am – 7pm Wednesday
10am – 7pm Thursday
10am – 7pm Friday
10am – 4pm Saturday
10am – 4pm Sunday