Aquatic Photographs and Paintings
Ivan Mikolji as researcher and explorer created a photographic language, which is indebted to the refraction of light in water, its transparency, opacity, and physical-chemical qualities.
These photographs are born from an adventure into the unknown. Normally, Mikolji submerges for hours with a mask, snorkel and his photography equipment looking for the wanted frame, and working on each session until to materialize it.
He immortalizes the changing essence of the aqueous to transform it into a visual trap that sometimes perceives water as evanescent matter. The artist has created a visual language, closely linked to aquatic and underwater landscapes, and this is observed in his paintings and drawings as well as in the predominance of curves, angles, geometric shapes and seriality. The line is restless, dynamic echo in the external shapes as well as in the colors that are linked to the kaleidoscopic reflections of light in the water and the bottoms, which characterize many of these works, as evidenced in the series from Altum.
Eduardo Planchart Licea
PhD. Latin American Art History, UNAM
Aquatic Photographs and Paintings has been exhibited in:
Barquisimeto Photo Library. 2018
Martin Tovar y Tovar Technical School of Plastic Arts, Barquisimeto. 2018
IVAN MIKOLJI: Aquatic Photographs and Paintings
What I enjoy most when I’m taking pictures is to enter Mikoljilandia, or what I call “the flow”. It is a level of concentration, which I only achieve when I am immersed in rivers doing my creative work.
I started in underwater photography when I met Oliver Lucanus, whom I accompanied on an expedition for several weeks. We went to the rivers: Morichal Largo, Caroní, Orinoco, among others and I helped him in his work. One night we were in the Atabapo River, floating around one in the morning, looking at the night sky. And suddenly I thought:
“If you like photography so much, fish and these jungles where you feel like your home, all this includes what you like. At that moment, I decided what I was going to do in my life. And it was thanks to that expedition that I found my destiny.”
The most important thing in my work is to teach people what it is, such as an inventory of the biodiversity that must be preserved and protected to maintain life on the planet since everything is linked to a planetary ecological system, which is extremely fragile. It is curious for me that in my work’ exhibitions, people thank me for showing them the indissoluble plot on which life on Earth depends. It is as if I was inspiring them, changing the cultural mindset of the people who see the photos, and you make them love the planet more and feel part of it. In addition, that change of attitude is one of the objectives of my work.
Explorer and visual artist