Marijan Zajec, Ko-Ze talks to Paul Godbold about his sculptoral art, passion and inspiration.

Marijan Zajec, more commonly known to the art world as Ko-Ze is a Croatian based sculptoral artist, Paul Godbold took the opportunity to find out more about his style, passion and background.

Marijan Zajec, more commonly known to the art world as Ko-Ze is a Croatian based sculptoral artist, Paul Godbold took the opportunity to find out more about his style, passion and background.

Marijan’s passion for art and developed before he even reached his teenage years, while working within the brick industry he discovered fascination for clay and its potential artistic use. However, the twists and turns of life prevented him from realising his ambition of becoming a professional artist until a few years ago. After a life-threatening illness, he decided that he would pursue his love of art full time that has subsequently led to being exhibited in Vienna earlier this year. Following this exhibition, he has received invitations to exhibit his work in London, New York and Miami.

“I consider that the current state of  world sculpture is one big playground and I think that some important values have been lost. I want to change that.”

Marijan Zajec, more commonly known to the art world as Ko-Ze is a Croatian based sculptoral artist, Paul Godbold took the opportunity to find out more about his style, passion and background.

Each of Ko-Ze’s sculptures is unique one-of-a-kind works; his daliance with death has caused him to rethink his priorities which in turn has led to his decision to give a proportion of the income from future sales of his works to charitable organisations.

PG: Tell us about your background and how you became a sculptor

Marijan Zajec, more commonly known to the art world as Ko-Ze is a Croatian based sculptoral artist, Paul Godbold took the opportunity to find out more about his style, passion and background.MZ: I was interested in art ever since early childhood.I made my first sculpture when I was ten years old. My parents told me to be bring it to the school of art where they told me that I didn’t make it myself which disappointed me very much.They told me that  my parents made it or someone else older than me. I went home crying and said to myself I will never make another sculpture again. Destiny decided after 33 years when I suffered an traumatic experience in which I barely stayed alive I decided to return to my first love, making sculptures. One of my dreams is to sell my sculptures so I can feed the people of Somalia at least for a day even if I have to make a thousand sculptures per day.

PG: How do you decide upon your subject matters?

MZ: More often than not, the themes I use for my sculptures are life, love and death. The thing that motivates me the most is the torment of mankind which I feel at every step I take. Throughout the worldwide media, there is mostly bad and negative news with some exceptions of course like Luxurious Magazine! It’s like ‘Ignore the good news as this doesn’t sell’. Someone is going to say, “why do my sculptures bear the spirit of luxury?”

I want the glow of my sculptures to point out everything disastrous that is happening throughout the world (Danger from nuclear disaster – I think that nuclear energy is too old and dangerous and I feel that there are other forms of energy that are much less harmful for the environment and more powerful. On the other side, I am constantly occupied by the thought of creation of life, religion and the endless question of “why are we here?” and “where are we going?”

PG: How would you describe your style?

MZ: My style is the result of my everlasting wish to transfer my emotions directly into the materials I use. I want my sculpture to transfer the same emotions I felt during its creation to the other person. The surges of most of my sculptures are reservoirs of emotional energy. That is why I consider that when another person is observing my sculpture, he/she cannot stay indifferent.

PG: How do you decide upon your subject matters?

MZ: More often than not, the themes I use for my sculptures are life, love and death. The thing that motivates me the most is the torment of mankind which I feel at every step I take. Throughout the worldwide media, there is mostly bad and negative news with some exceptions of course like Luxurious Magazine! It’s like ‘Ignore the good news as this doesn’t sell’. Someone is going to say, “why do my sculptures bear the spirit of luxury?”

I want the glow of my sculptures to point out everything disastrous that is happening throughout the world (Danger from nuclear disaster – I think that nuclear energy is too old and dangerous and I feel that there are other forms of energy that are much less harmful for the environment and more powerful. On the other side, I am constantly occupied by the thought of creation of life, religion and the endless question of “why are we here?” and “where are we going?”

Marijan Zajec, more commonly known to the art world as Ko-Ze is a Croatian based sculptoral artist, Paul Godbold took the opportunity to find out more about his style, passion and background.

PG: How would you describe your style?

MZ: My style is the result of my everlasting wish to transfer my emotions directly into the materials I use. I want my sculpture to transfer the same emotions I felt during its creation to the other person. The surges of most of my sculptures are reservoirs of emotional energy. That is why I consider that when another person is observing my sculpture, he/she cannot stay indifferent.

I also must say that I don’t idolise any particular sculptor, not because there were no great sculptors over the past and present, it is because I feel that I don’t need to copy others. I approach each of my sculptures as an independent unit. I must say that I am my biggest and harshest critic but also my biggest fan! I also must add that I want to tutor on the subject of “abstract sculpture” and also gain a doctorate in the subject of “How masterpieces are made.” For me, art is when the skill and the idea are on the same level. My college – the Art House College of Visual Art in Ljubjana is a big supporter of my work, and they have allowed me to develop my talent on my own terms. I would recommend this college everyone who wants to educate themselves in art.

PG: What materials do you work with and do you have a preferred material?

MZ: Considering that my themes are everlasting I utilise everlasting materials like stainless steel, granite, brass, aluminium and bronze. My most prefered material to use is bronze.

PG: During your time as a professional sculptor you have created many pieces of art, is there one piece that you prize above all others?

MZ: My personal favourite sculpture is “Reborn” because it symbolizes my career.

PG: You exhibited this year at “The Spirit of Art” in Vienna, how was this experience for you?

MZ: The reception for my sculptures overwhelmed me, not just from the eyes of other artists but also through the eyes of the spectators. They greatly appreciated the quality, the skill and everything else that went into the making of the sculptures. I told myself “Marijan you are on the right track. This is it.”

Marijan Zajec, more commonly known to the art world as Ko-Ze is a Croatian based sculptoral artist, Paul Godbold took the opportunity to find out more about his style, passion and background.

PG: Tell us about the Art scene in Croatia

MZ: The modern-day art scene around the world, for me, is a huge playground with exceptions of course. Croatia is a small nation, and we are keen to follow global trends, thus the art scene in Croatia became a big copy house. Like in the rest of the world the meaning of aboriginal art is lost here in Croatia as well. The making of aboriginal art is my primary focus.

PG: Thank you for your time Marijan, I always enjoy finding new and exciting artistic talent. Before we ‘wrap up’ Is there anything that you would like to add?

MZ: My Dear Paul there is a saying in Croatia which I like a lot that goes “Man slumbers, God decides” in other words everything is a matter of destiny. If something, is meant to be then I will fulfill my dreams, if not at least I am doing something which inspires me and makes me happy. Now I am making preparations to cover my twenty new sculptures in bronze; I will let you know when everything is finished. I am also considering an auction of my work in some of the more prestigious auction houses where the proceeds from the sales would lean towards charity by the most part.

If you would like to find out more about my work, email me at [email protected] or type Marijan Zajec Ko-ze in Youtube.com to watch videos of my sculptures.

Editorial Team

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