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 Milena Roglic

October 20th, 2015 by Laura Horne


Since Roglic completed her MFA studies in 2014 her work has been moving away from her personal history and delving into the observations of her immediate surroundings and is still very rooted in her direct experience with her environment. Roglic enjoys the tangible, physical process of appropriating things she sees, and in making them her own.


Roglic’s studio practice is very organized and is strategic. Her creative process starts with quick pastel drawings or 8 x 10 inch print outs of digitally manipulated images that Roglic takes.


Nevertheless Roglic’s practice is very formal, rooted in Constructivism traditions and techniques. She is always experimenting with different applications and materials to create unique surface textures and compositions.


Laura Horne: Who have been a few of your top influences?


Milena Roglic: In my youth and earlier on as a student I was influenced by El Lissitzky, Giacomo Balla and  Josef Albers. Most recently I have been really interested in Tomma Abts, Deborah Remington,  Helmut Federle and Mark Bradford.


LH: Since your work so far is based on personal experiences, can you expand on a work and an experience as an example?


MR: Yes, my work is based on personal experiences and motivated by interactions and  observations of my immediate surroundings. For example, the concept for my painting, "The  Wrestler" came out of appropriating and reworking a commercial logo from a gas station sign  that I came across while walking in my neighborhood.


LH: When did you decide that you wanted to be a painter?


MR: I have been painting and drawing since I was a child and pursued my studies in visual arts at a  community college then later on at university. I did not produce much work after my  undergraduate studies but then had regained interest around 2008‐9. Since then I made the  decision that I wanted to focus on painting again.


LH: Your painting style is very structured, what do you leave  to chance?


MR: I agree, they are very structured and I am very interested in compositional dynamics. I always  have a starting point, whether it's a digital image, drawing or collage. I use these sources to  map out structures on the canvas, but there comes a point when the studies become vaguely  referenced and the painting transforms as unpredictable outcomes present themselves while  delving into application and medium. So opportunities for chance and surprise do take place and are welcomed.


LH: In your thesis your main theme is Urban spaces, focusing more on urban decay and decline, is there a counterpoint?


MR: My MFA thesis work emphasized finding intrigue in disintegrating urban spaces. Since then my  most recent work (post grad school) deals with similar themes, but focuses more on the  painting process and creating visual tension out of opposing formal elements. For example, I  will pair a rough, gritty surface against something linear or geometric. The juxtaposition of  contrasting forms and textures generate agitation yet equally command each painting. To  achieve varying surfaces, I have been incorporating additional materials with oil medium such  as pastel, acrylic gouache and graphite. I have also been trying to take more risks with my new  work and as a result, the spaces are becoming more layered, dense and even complicated.


LH: One of the questions that you ask in your thesis "Can precarious sensibilities exist within a painting?" I am curious if you have had any resolutions?

MR: Yes, I find that through my intensive research and investigation of materials, spatial and compositional relationships, it is the interaction of contradictory formal characteristics that heighten uncertain sensibilities and stimulate curiosity in the viewing experience.

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