Excerpt from an interview with the academic painter Joze Vodlan: Stefanic, Bogomir Jr. “I Am Searching For The Light That Gives Inner Happiness.” Druzina 11 Aug. 1996.
A: I lived in Slovenia till the age of nineteen and I am convinced that these years are the years when a young person is already psychologically and intelligently mature. When I went abroad first to study art in Austria my feelings of being a Slovenian were always very heartfelt and warm. Although I was studying in a foreign country I never forgot where I came from. It is so true that I am strongly infused with every experience in life far from home but my fundament have always been in Slovenia. For many years I was not consciously aware of that fact. When I came to America with Gorse and Zupancic had organized our first collective exhibition in New York, the noted Slovenian art historian Dr. Rajko Lozar, residing in the States at that time came to see our works: comparing their colors, composition and other figurative elements with the work of Slovenian painters of the time (for whom I had never heard of since the study abroad kept me away from them), he actually saw a lot of the true Slovenian spirit in them. It was at those times that I got the label of being a Slovenian painter. I could never be somebody else, this is the source of my originality and partially my identity: my first identity, however, is the identity of a Christian.
Q: Your paintings are infused with religious feelings and in fact you are very close to religious art. Do you think of creating some art works in this direction?
A: In fact, there have been some serious arrangements already going on. In Pennsylvania, where I live with my family, is a new Catholic Church of the Queen of Peace which has a large window (7 by 10 meters): I hope to make a stained glass. Of course it is not yet certain whether the project is going to be released or not, but I have already prepared the sketches for it. Actually this kind of work is very close to me: I am a painter that searches for the light, using such creative means that generate emotions of happiness. Even in my toughest years when due to severe shortages I was hardly able to survive, this was reflective also in my paintings: although they were painted in dark colors they were never aggressive or destructive. I tried hard to capture the feeling of peace. My professor used to tell us, his students, “a drop that falls into the sea is in itself more powerful than in the projectile of the greatest gun.” I always remembered this saying. The power lies in peace, not in violence, and I am trying to reflect this in my paintings.
Articles on the Artist
- 1. Excerpt from Simoncic, Damjana. “Painter puts image on view: loving truth more than the glory,…” USA Today June 1996.
- 2. Excerpt from Gajsek, Vladimir. “Joze Vodlan Exhibits in the Krka Gallery in Ljubljana.” Slovenec 24 July 1996.
- 3. Excerpt from an interview with the academic painter Joze Vodlan: Stefanic, Bogomir Jr. “I Am Searching For The Light That Gives Inner Happiness.” Druzina 11 Aug. 1996.
- 4. Damjana Simončič: “Artist warmly embraced by his fatherland” Ljubljana, 15. July, 1996.
- 5.Excerpt from Jeraj, Jozica. “1996 Frescoes Retrospection.” Exhibition brochure 1996.