Art is based in feeling and that was made pretty clear during our conversation with internationally recognized, Toronto-based, Serbian artist Deana Nastic.
While at the University of Belgrade, her private tutor introduced her to German Expressionism. This made a huge impact on her career as a painter. Her signature style has always been associated with watercolours and figurative work. However, her latest creative project, “Invisible Brush” at the Izzy Gallery in Yorkville, features a black and white portrait series.
With just a few years of photography experience, Deana took a risk and created a captivating and inspired exhibition featuring Yasmin Warsame, the acclaimed model.
Novella had the opportunity to meet this passionate and talented artist to learn more about her first experience using an “invisible brush”.
Celia Fernandez: As a painter, how did you start feeling that attraction and curiosity about photography?
Deana Nastic: Over the last six years I was fortunate to meet and spend time with great photographers like Ellen Von Unwerth, Albert Watson and Roxanne Lowit. They inspired me to pick up a camera. I had never tried photography. I painted and sculpted. Time came for a new medium for me as an artist. That’s how it started.
C.F.: What are the pros and cons about photography vs. watercolours and paintbrushes?
C.F.: This was your debut as a photographer. When working in all the pieces and getting everything ready for the exhibition, were you especially nervous about it just because it was your first time?
D.N.: No. I’ve had many shows. But I am equally nervous for every show. If I didn’t have those nerves, I don’t see the point in doing it. I am so invested in the whole process.
C.F.: How was the process you followed to come up with all the final pieces?
D.N.: I started with collage and mix of photos, not knowing where it would take me. Days and nights working in my studio led me to simplify things. It ended up with pure photography and my models would have their eyes closed most of the time. I wanted a certain mood to come to life.
C.F.: What exactly you were hoping to capture with “Invisible Brush”?
D.N.: Mood. It’s all about mood and certain feeling. They are disappearing. A lot of people think they are not photographs.
C.F.: In your own words, how would you define your signature as an artist? What makes you different from other artists?
D.N.: That’s a tough one. I think reviewers and art critics could explain this better. I am an artist because that’s what I do. It’s my life.
C.F.: What does art mean to you?
D.N.: Art means life for me. And anything that moves me in life is art to me.
To learn more about Deana Nastic, click here or follow on Instagram via @izzygallery and @nasticdeana909.