Famous Brazilian fashion designer Fabiana Milazzo made her latest collection of dresses inspired by the art and paintings of our artist Lena Kramarić. After spending a summer vacation in Croatia and Dubrovnik, where Fabiana met Lena, she was so delighted with both the land and the city and Lena’s work that she decided to call her new collection ‘Croatia’ and use some details and motifs from Lena’s paintings.

Her motifs are mostly female characters and now they’ve become the dresses worn by Fabiana’s models. Lena is, by all means, one of the most inspiring artists persones in Dubrovnik – born in Zagreb, living and working in Dubrovnik, @ postgraduate doctoral studies (PhD) at Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb… Meet her here.

In her own words:

Exploring the world around me in relation to my own inner world in an introspective and autoreferential way I am trying to connect motifs of the real and surreal, of the actual, imaginary and subconscious in the narrative scenes, leaving enough space to observers for their individual interpretation. I reflect while I paint.

Preparation for paintings are sketches that emerge inside my head around the clock. When I get hold of my tools I work spontaneously and fast, very often on more works simultaneously. Amongst my works there are those that are obvious and easily comprehensible and yet there are those that are less easily decipherable, there are symbols and elements from the real world that surrounds us, which together make a collage of emotions, states and words. Collage as an art technique is an integral part of my work, as well as drawing, which comes at the beginning and at the end of everything I do. Colour and drawing supercede and complement each other in the working process while the paint roller with white tempera partially annuls them, creating transparency or dimness. Vanishing turning into new creation. A painting is created in layers, using trial, error and success to achieve the desired final effect. Taking off and then adding new layers of colour and drawing, a worn-out surface is obtained which is contrasted by bright details. As in life, in which the most unusual combinations of emotions and sensations coexist simultaneously, my works also contain various mutually opposing elements so it seems that my work is a continual process of transferring impulses obtained from life into my work.

Everyday experiences and information are turned into another state of matter. All that is mixed and something new emerges in the form of a painting, sometimes unclear and ambivalent and often unexplained because I move on, in my work as well as in life, undividedly and a bit too fast. Work and life processes are equalized. Private and individual is put above general and collective. I believe that the best way to get through to the observer and to my own self is through a personal prism, which is essential for my overall development as an individual as well as an artist. Female characters have been present in my work since the very beginning and at first glance they are the main figures. At the second, more penetrating glance, they are just the means in my work – they create the atmosphere, pass on information and stimuli from the outer world onto a canvas. They are the projection of my wishes, fears and temptations. In titles of my works or cycles of paintings I use play on words, ambiguous messages.

Sometimes I use text, spontaneous thoughts, which complement or annul the pictorial form. Wishing to explore the unexplored I am building up my own personal and artistic identity. I am trying to find new ways for my artistic research through work. I make use of breaks in my work which occur between particular cycles of paintings, I reexamine the existing-created work as well as my own potentials, aspirations and abilities. Just as I constantly develop, my works change as well – the works which are inevitably connected by the same head and the same hand and also similar aspirations and artistic striving.

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