Maja's paintings speak of her emotions, her travels, her love for egypt, but also
her croatian heritage. In fact the use of gold leaves in her paintings is inspired
from the ancient Byzantine mosaics and icons from her home country.
In her present exhibition, Maja's work is vigorous and passionate , yet feminine.
Her structure seems more free than her previous work, and her bright vivid colours
dominate her canvas, uplifing the spirits of the viewer by conveying a cheerful
message of an imaginary and magical world.
Interview with Maja about her 9th Exhibition in Egypt
This is my 9th individual exhibition in Egypt since 1992. I am living in Cairo already
ten years. Cairo was also a good starting point for visiting other Middle Eastern
countries. Once I made a round-trip by car from Cairo to Zagreb, Croatia, my home
country. I was with my family and we took the time to visit Jordan, Syria and Turkey,
and to revive memories of some places I had known before.
Since my first exhibition in Cairo, in the Italian Cultural Center, the inspiration
for my paintings was, to use your words—-oriental. However, I think that added a
Mediterranean touch which established a link with the northern shores of the same
sea and with my previous painting. To put it shortly, I am fascinated with the Mediterranean-Middle
Eastern scenery and that is probably the common denominator of all the exhibition
I mentioned before. I am especially attracted to human dwellings, urban agglomerations,
villages and cities whose kaleidoscopic structure withstood the challenge of time
and seems to establish a continuum between the past, present and unknown future.
Paintings belong to visual arts and they are supposed to speak for themselves. They
may mean different things to different people which depends of their subjective
perception. As for myself, I am playing with colors, light, forms and structures
through which I am trying to express my own preoccupations and feelings. The message
addressed to the public is not straight-forward but an artistic one which leaves
to the observer the liberty of choice. There are certain symbols and signs, such
as openings and doors, minarets and towers, nets and laces, which for me have a
particular significance and which are frequently repeated in my paintings. For that
reason I decorated the El Hanager gallery with fisherman nets, ropes and transparent
textiles, hoping to stimulate the imagination of the visitors. In an exhibition
two years ago I broke the space of the gallery with wooden doors and bird-like wings.
Doors may symbolically mean escape or entrance. The towers which go up and down
may convey the message of eternity or rootedness, or both. The nets are supposed
to catch fish but many of them escape. Human figures when they appear in those paintings
are usually elusive silhouettes or eternal “Guardians of the Castle”, which is title
of one of the exhibited pieces. Clear and dark colors may also have a similar symbolic
meaning, but it is to the observer to chose the meaning he or she prefers.