Albana Ejupi

What is the relationship between our bodies and the minds we inhabit? What are we beyond the persona we present to the world?  What happens when two bodies meet and unite in a sexual encounter? Could the age-old technique of painting still be an adequate way to provide visual answers to these questions and investigate what it means to be human?

 

As I study the human and animal body, I explore how spiritual realities manifest. As I paint, I learn more about  age, memory, love, feelings, challenges, pain, wounds and healing, pregnancy and sex.

My art deals with spiritual and social aspects of human nature. I use of different layers of colors and materials on canvas. By using sand from Kosovo I feel that part of my heritage materializes in my work. I prefer to work with older people who are shaped and marked by life. Being instable, the sand seems to be an adequate material to talk about decaying bodies and ephemeral lives.

 

Many of my paintings depict bodies in different positions. The variety of connections reflects the diversity of human relations. By unifying the appearance through the use of shades of color and sand, I hope to create more universal images of individuals, images that others can identify with.

       

I am dealing with voluminous figures, who feel comfortable in their bodies. The subject is set in the foreground of the painting, occupying most of the surface, against a monochromatic or undefined background, a space without details, mostly with few colors.

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I use strong and contrasting colors when I paint couples whose love is nascent, when the colors are similar to the environment, I focus on their adaptation between the beings and their environment.

In older couples that have overcome many challenges, this often becomes salient. They stay firmly attached to each other, and their heads have become one. This emphasizes the fact that these figures stand side by side in very close contemplation, reflecting the ways of perceiving the world, things and events around.

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Some of the acts are represented as they have sex, evoking eroticism, love, but also the harmony of two or more bodies.

My latest works deal with the bond between animals and humans. They were inspired by the long lockdown which forced us to isolate ourselves from our social contacts, where many people started or deepened their relationship with non-human animals. The pet can provide proximity, physical warmth and feelings of togetherness. But in some of the couples I encountered, the beloved animal seemed to act as a link to shared feelings.

Another part of my work are portraits, mainly showing older people. At first sight, their faces might seem unfinished, but appearances are in fact deceptive. It is time that corrodes the faces by eating away parts of them and causes the incomplete outer forms. What remains is the very essence of the person’s character, his/her experiences, memories and thoughts.

 

Can you also see more than what is obvious to the eye?