ALEX MITEV LEBEN


NEXT STEP


Biografija

 

Biography

Aleksander Mitev Leben je rojen v Mariboru leta 1989. Zaključil je Srednjo trgovsko šolo smer ekonomski tehnik, trenutno se vpisuje na Akademijo umetnosti v Zürichu. Od malega ustvarja na različnih področjih likovne umetnosti, od risbe, slike, fotografije in skulpture. Pravi, da je v življenju počel že marsikaj drugega, od tega najraje v kuhinji odličnih mojstrov ... Zadnja štiri leta posveča pozornost predvsem slikarstvu, ob tem ustvarja tudi na področju digitalnega dizajna in ilustracije, igra kitaro, skejta ter potuje po svetu.

Serija slik z naslovom Next step je nastala posebej za festival Jazz 'ma mlade, v sklopu katerega je bila na ogled samo nekaj ur, kolikor je trajal koncertni dogodek. Ker je občinstvo razstavo zelo dobro sprejelo, smo se odločili, da jo ponudimo na ogled v naši Web Nox galeriji. Zaradi Alexovega potovanja med Mariborom in Zürichom, smo z njim opravili dopisni intervju.

Serija slik Next step (Naslednji korak) se ne poigrava toliko z barvami kot s samo dinamiko podob in jih oživlja do te mere, da jih lahko "slišimo".

 

Aleksander Mitev Leben was born in 1989 in Maribor. He completed his secondary education as an economic technician at the Commercial High School Maribor and is currently enrolling at the Zurich University of the Arts. Ever since Alex was a little boy, he has been creative in different art forms, including drawings, paintings, photography, and sculpture. He has done lots of other different things in life, but he enjoyed himself most inside the kitchens of excellent chefs…  For the last four years, his main focus has been painting, however he also makes time for his digital design work and illustrations, playing guitar, skating and travelling the world.

The series of paintings entitled Next step (Naslednji korak) was made especially for the Jazz Has Youth (Jazz 'ma mlade) 2018 festival; it was exhibited for just a few hours during the live music performances that evening. Because the audience responded so well to the exhibition, we decided to offer it in our Web Nox Gallery. As Alex is travelling between Maribor and Zürich, we interviewed him via email.

The Next step’s paintings reveal the play with the images’ dynamics rather than with colours, animating them to the extent that we can almost "hear" them.


Pogovor z avtorjem

 

Glede na vse, kar si že počel v življenju, se vedno znova vračaš k ustvarjanju. Kaj ustvarjanje pomeni zate osebno? Kaj se ti med samim procesom kreativnosti dogaja - delaš to predvsem zase ali za druge? 

Ustvarjanje oz. ustvarjalnost je za mene nek drive skozi življenje, način življenja ... se pravi, da karkoli počnem, počnem to ustvarjalno. Kaj se mi dogaja med samim ustvarjanjem ... Določene ključne trenutke je v bistvu kar težko opisati, ker padem v fokus, kjer ni prostora in časa, je pa samo ideja oz. zamisel želenega rezultata, ki ti ga ravno ustvarjalnost lajša pri sami izvedbi. Se pravi ustvarjalnost pripomore k izvedbi v štartu nejasnih - nelogičnih zamisli, če bi lahko tako povezal oba vprašanja skupaj. Ustvarjam zgolj za sebe, za svoj nek notranji mir ... v kolikor pa se kdo priklopi na mojo frekfenco in zna zaplavat na njej, počnem očitno to tudi za njega.

Vpisuješ se na Akademijo v Zürichu, kako to, da si se šele sedaj odločil za to potezo? Kaj pričakuješ, da ti bo Akademija dala in kakšne plane imaš v umetnosti za prihodnost? 

Po končani srednji šoli nekako nisem razmišljal o nadaljnjem študiju, saj šola in sistem, vsaj pri nas, nekako nista zadovoljila mojih potreb ali pa sem enostavno bil z glavo popolnoma drugje ... "Šele zdaj" zato, ker je šele zdaj (za mene) pravi čas za korak naprej v sklopu šolskega sistema in zakaj Zürich? Ker mi je njihov sistem izobraževanja, ocenjevanja in razmišljanja dosti bližji kot slovenski. Plan je enostaven … Kreirat in podirat meje izražanja skozi art, izdat kakšno knjigo, razvijat nove tehnike itd.

V t.i. Kliniki za zdravljenje faušije si v Mariboru imel svoj atelje, ki je bil odprt za potencialne radovedneže in kupce. Tam si imel celo zbirko svojih del, jih pakiraš s seboj v Švico ali ostajajo tukaj? Kaj bo z ateljejem? 

Vsa svoja dela sem dal skladiščit, hranit oz. zoret (smeh). Vsa dela so ostala v Mariboru in še vedno se jih da videt. Atelje sem predal drugim rokam v uporabo z namenom, da ostane atelje, kakor je bil do sedaj. 

Zelo blizu ti je tudi glasba, zato si v sodelovanju s festivalom Jazz 'ma mlade naredil razstavo z motivi jazz glasbenikov, ki je bila na ogled zgolj nekaj ur. Ker je to tudi razstava, ki je sedaj na ogled na Web Noxu - kaj te je navdušilo za jazz? 

Res je, glasba mi ni tuja ... Obožujem jo! Za nastanek 'Jazzerov' me je navdušilo ravno povabilo za razstavo na "Jazz 'ma mlade".

Dobival si precej naročil, razmeroma dobra je bila tudi prodaja tvojih del na spošno; kaj je po tvojem formula za uspeh v umetnosti? 

Mislim da za uspeh kot tak ima lahko vsak svojo formulo. Nedelujoča formula skoraj ne obstaja, treba jo je razvijat in znat uporabljat. Moja formula je predvsem ogromno vloženega časa v samo kreativnost, kar pomeni 90% samo razvijanja ideje - izvedbe, 5% dobro orodje, 5% prodaja.. 1+1=3 (smeh).

Kako bi opredelil tvoj slog ustvarjanja? Po čem te lahko publika prepozna? 

Težko bi se fiksno opredelil v nek slog ustvarjanja, ker enostavno kombiniram več različnih slogov ali načinov izražanja ... V veliki večini so izrazite barve na mojih delih, medtem ko na drugih tekstura, ki jo gradim na samo platno ... Akvarel mi je tudi zelo blizu (je v bistvu moja izhodiščna točka), razne ilustracije itd. Način dela je popolnoma odvisen od razpoloženja, časa in drugih vplivov okolja. V kolikor je slika oljna - to nisem jaz (smeh). Prepoznajo me lahko po dokaj nečitljivem podpisu na sami sliki "Mitev Leben".

Kakšna je po tvojem mišljenju umetniška scena v Mariboru? Katere dobre plati ima in kaj bi lahko še izboljšali v mestu? Se ti zdi, da imajo mladi kreativci dovolj prostora zase? 

Scena v našem čudovitem Mariboru je po svoje zelo zanimiva in minimalistična za moj okus. Dobra plat je ta, da umetniki so in vedno bodo! Izboljšat se moramo mi, vsi, še posebej politiki, vlada ... (smeh). Zdi se mi, da imajo mladi kreativci vedno več možnosti in prostora zase, le čas prinese svoje in upam, da bo tudi umetniško sceno slej ko prej dvignil na višji nivo razumevanja.

 

Interview with the author

 

Taking into account everything you've done in your life, you keep coming back to creating art. What does creating art mean for you personally? What is happening to you during the creative process itself – do you do it predominantly for yourself or for others? 

For me, creating art or creativity is a kind of “drive” through life, a way of life...that is, whatever I do, I do it creatively. What is happening to me during creating itself...? Certain key moments are actually rather difficult to describe because I sink into a focus, where neither space or time exist; there is only  an idea or a motion of the desired result, and its realization is facilitated precisely by creativity. Therefore, creativity contributes to the realization of initially unclear, illogical ideas – if I was to combine the answers to the two questions together. I create solely for myself, for some sort of inner peace...in the event that someone else connects to my frequency and can swim in it, then I guess I‘m creating for that person as well.

You're enrolling at the Zurich University of the Arts. How come you haven’t decided for this move until now? What do you expect from the university and what are your plans regarding art in the future? 

After I finished high school I somehow didn’t think about continuing my education as the school system, at least in our country, didn’t satisfy my needs or I simply had my head somewhere else ... I haven’t decided "until now" because (for me) now is the right time to take a step forward within the school system; and why Zürich? It is because their system of education, grading and thinking is much closer to me than the Slovenian one. The plan is simple…to create, to break down the borders of expression through art, to publish a book, to develop new techniques etc.

In the so called Clinic for Treating Envy in Maribor you had your studio opened for potential buyers and curious folk. There was an entire collection of your works – are you taking them with you to Switzerland or are you leaving them behind? What will become of the studio?

I put all my works into storage, to save keep or to mature (laughter). All the works stayed in Maribor and can still be seen. I gave the studio to others with the intent that it stays a studio, as it was until now.

Music is also near and dear to you, and you’ve prepared an exhibition with motifs of jazz musicians in collaboration with the festival Jazz Has Youth, that could be seen only for a few hours. Since this exhibition is now available on Web Nox – what inspired you for jazz? 

It is true; music is not foreign to me… I love it! The inspiration for the 'The Jazzers' was precisely the invitation for the exhibition on "Jazz Has Youth".

You’ve got a lot of orders, and you’ve also sold quite a few of them; what is the formula for success in the arts? 

I think that everyone can have its own formula for success of a kind. There is no such thing as a non-working formula; it has to be developed and one has to know how to use it. My formula is mainly enormous amount of time invested in creativity itself, which means 90% for developing the idea – for the execution, 5% good tools, 5% sales. 1+1=3. (laughter).

How would you define your artistic style? How are you recognizable to the public? 

It’s hard for me to permanently define myself by a specific artistic style because I simply combine different styles or ways of expressing... For the most part, my works have expressive colors, whereas on others the texture that I build on the canvas itself... Watercolor painting is also very close to me (it is actually my starting point), different illustrations etc. The way of working is completely dependent from the mood, time, and other environmental influences. If the painting is oil – it’s not me (laughter). I’m recognizable by my fairly illegible signature "Mitev Leben" on the painting itself.

In your opinion, what is the artistic scene like in Maribor? What are the good parts of the city and what can be improved? Do you think that young creative people have enough room for themselves? 

The scene in our wonderful Maribor is in a way very interesting and minimalistic for my taste. The good part is that artists exist and always will! We all have to improve, especially the politicians, the government... (laughter). It seems to me that young creatives always have more opportunity and room for themselves, only time contributes its part, and I hope that it will eventually raise the artistic scene to a higher level of understanding.


Kuratorka: Petra Čeh; foto: Janez Klenovšek; web design: Žan Lebe; produkcija: Galerija Media Nox