Mural "Life" 2020
Material: oil on concrete
Adorning the entrance to the Skyline Belgrade residential-commercial complex is the mural "Life" authored by the painter Ms. Ivona Pleskonja. As per the author herself, the mural celebrates our common existence and the interconnectedness of all living beings on this planet. In conversation with Ms. Ivona Pleskonja, we discovered the source of her inspiration for this mural, as well as the challenges she faced during the painting process.
Q: How did the cooperation with Skyline Belgrade come about?
A: The cooperation with Skyline Belgrade residential-commercial complex was rather spontaneous. It ensued from a friendly conversation about monumental paintings with the development investor and my idea to start creating exterior art. I generally paint portraits of people in states of intense concentration and focus, while I am especially inspired to paint monumental characters, thus giving them a new dimension and us - a reminder how great and tremendous we actually are. I have been fantasizing about painting even larger portraits of my heroes for a number of years now. I have been wanting to move from canvases to walls, in order to increase the portrait sizes and, also, because publicly available art at any time of day and night is something that gives me a sense of joy. Thanks to the suggestion by and the support of dear friends, my first mural "Life" emerged on the wall in front of the Skyline Belgrade Sarajevska Street entrance. I am immensely grateful and appreciative for the opportunity I was given and for the cooperation that transpired.
Q: What were you inspired by while creating the "Life" mural?
A: I am generally inspired by nature, people, animals. I am inspired by each and every living being. I am inspired by the life's sincerity and truthfulness. I look at the sun every evening as it sets and every morning as it rises, and I, literally, learn from the sun and the sky how to paint. I am captivated by the colors melting across the sky and their many variations. I also learn from the River Sava I happen to reside nearby. The "Life" mural was created spontaneously in unison with nature; however, it was created in some other times, before the ongoing global pandemic. This symbolism is of special significance to me, because it shows that the force of life is almighty!
Q: To what extent is this type of street art recognized and popular in Serbia?
A: Murals in Belgrade are slowly becoming more and more noticeable, and, as, such, increasingly more important for our art scene and our culture. For me, creating art in exterior spaces is a new artistic universe, which I am determined to further delve into, because I can feel the importance of this artistic direction for all of us.
Q: Taken into consideration that you had to work on quite a large wall surface, did this fact pose a challenge for you?
A: The surface area on which the painting "Life" was created is 200 square meters. Surface of that size was a huge challenge for me and a completely new canvas for creating art. I had to tackle the height and the width of walls, which was the biggest challenge of all. Nonetheless, I had everything I needed - scaffolding, height safety equipment, ropes, helmets, including what is most important - the assistance of my great friend Srdjan Rusić and his company "Visinski radovi", who enabled me to tackle wall heights head on, as well as the enormous support of my art team consisting of nine young painters, who all lent a helping hand during the project. In conclusion, the task was so immense that it required harmonious team effort. It was quite a test to work on this painting during the pandemic and many precautionary health measures, as well as to try and adapt to inclement weather. Moreover, it was also challenging to hear many passersby’s and neighbors' comments. However, noticing that my work made someone happy gave me an impetus to continue the creative process with even greater rigor!