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.
Q: A short walk through your creativity reveals that you have worked in several fields. You were a restorer in Austria, in the USA you worked as a graphic designer in the advertising business, but parallely you were constantly in search of a personal, creative expression. These different jobs- the restoring, that deals with the images of the past, the graphic design which is the most typical imprint of the present, and the artistic creativity which is constantly facing the future in its search for its own self- do they somehow interface with themselves?
A: At first, I have to admit that I never particularly planned anything that has happened to me. All the time I have had only one main goal: to get the best knowledge of art and to learn the most. While attending the art academy in Linz I had to face the problems of survival and I quickly realized that by merely selling my paintings would be very hard to make a living. Prof. Dinnel directed me towards restoring of damaged artworks at an early age of my studies, he introduced me to the most influential restorers in Austria and to different museums staff whom I collaborated with afterwards. The art of restoring masterpieces helped me to get a certain knowledge, particularly of the old paintings techniques: while in direct contact with the old masters I was able to better learn their methods of painting, their use of colors and how they managed to achieve certain effects. These experiences helped me when developing my own techniques and at the same time also helped me to earn my living. When I arrived in the USA afterwards there was no such possibility for the same kind of work for me. I found myself in the middle of New York and I did not know what to do or where to go. The closet art form to my preference was graphic design: I was still in close touch with visual arts although I must admit that my most sincere feelings however could not be engaged in total. Honestly, this work consisted mostly of designing the “deception”: how to design something very beautifully and inviting in order to convince the consumer to buy that certain product, whether a good or bad one. This kind of work was very often a burden to me: I was sad when realizing the fact of how much work and talent was necessary for the successful design of a product and its wrapping in order to be more promising and effective, but the following day I was able to see everything thrown into the garbage.
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.
- Excerpt from Jeraj, Jozica. “1996 Frescoes Retrospection.” Exhibition brochure 1996.