in conversation with: Katarina Lalic

A fresh graduate of Central Saint Martins, Katarina Lalic’s works are known for their hyper colour palette. Reminding us of graffiti works, the colourful intertwined tubes and uneven canvases show the instantaneous nature of her work. As an avid coffee drinker, Kat is just like us – coffee and YouTube is life.

What is the most memorable moment during your time in Central Saint Martins?

Ooh too many to count! John Stezaker’s guest lecture during my second year really impacted me. That’s quite a serious one haha. There were so many moments in the studio where I was close to tears crying with laughter so I think it would be one of those.

where's_the_frame?_young_artist_Katarina_Lalic
"BLUE NEON", Oil, acrylic and wood on canvas, 120 x 180cm

Since your work is connected to the digital realm, which medium do you prefer? Canvas or your computer to create?  

Canvas definitely. I am an oil paint fiend haha. I find it a lot harder to be spontaneous when making digital works. The artificial nature of altering brush widths and covering marks means that digital painting has become more tactile than ever and there’s less presence of the human touch. That’s not to discredit the computer as a medium, but for me the unpredictable nature of paint is what really gets me excited.

 

Do you have any routine/rituals before you start working? 10 cups of coffee? 10 cups of tea? Or maybe yoga?

I wish I did yoga before I painted haha. An iced coffee usually, coffee can make me work for hours or end to the point where I start getting dizzy. I don’t think copious amounts of coffee were a fantastic addition to my life but it has helped my work ethic, so you win some you lose some.

 

Can you please describe your artwork as if you were talking to someone who can’t see?

Bumpy canvases interlaced with smooth colourful tubes. Lots of gradients. Inconsistencies in texture.

"GREEN TUBES", Oil and acrylic on canvas, 40 x 75cm

Why do you choose to employ neon/bright colors on your work? What does it signify to you?

My work is based around the shift from digital to analogue. I transfer digital drawings onto canvas which instils a loss of purity of the original image, an image once in the computer but now on a canvas. The hyper colour palette is a reference to these digital images and indicates a presence of artificiality on the canvas. I enjoy the combination of spontaneous brushstrokes with a more ‘traditional’ palette with preconceived shapes based on the digital.

 

Your work reminds me of graffiti art – spontaneous and dynamic. Is it anyway related to your current work?

Sort of. The spontaneity I try to emulate with my brush marks is quite similar, in the sense that they’re gestural and require movement similar to when one does graffiti. I have always been intrigued by action painting, using the whole body to shift paint across a canvas, I see a striking resemblance with this and the formation of graffiti. The instantaneous nature of a painting means that it brings chronology to a standstill and we see all past action through one static portrayal. The same goes for graffiti.

"BLUE GLOW", Oil and acrylic on board, 30 x 50cm

What do you do to unwind after a stressful day?

Seeing mates. I discovered the power of venting and have never looked back haha.

 

Who or what inspires you the most?

My family and friends, that hefty trail of galleries in Mayfair, the countryside, my instagram saved (pretentious!) and getting into a late-night rabbit hole of youtube channels that are mainly just artist interviews. 4am here I come.

 

What’s the weirdest thing that you ever encounter in the streets of London?

A guy walking a pig.

What’s next for you in 2020/2021?

I have a few shows in the works at the moment, and I’m also considering a masters for next year.

where's_the_frame?_young_artist_Katarina_Lalic
"RED TUBES", Oil, acrylic, oil pastel, wood on canvas, 120 x 180cm


All photos courtesy of the artist.