This is the second in a series of art talks with our painters. As you might have read, our game will feature paintings from acclaimed Croatian young artists. For example, when you enter Orville’s mansion, he has pictures hanging on his walls, from some of our finest fine artists (pun very much intended) as seen here:
Today we interview Luka Kusevic, the painter behind the pictures you see in Badger Orville’s hallway in the gif above. Luka was born in 1993 in Zagreb where he finished the School of Applied Arts and after that the Academy of Fine Arts in the class of prof. Zoltan Novak. His work was exhibited in the Gallery of Matica Hrvatska (Matrix Croatica) as well as the 5th Biennale of Painting in HDLU last year, and may more.
So, Luka, what attracts you to art?
The reason why I paint is because I am Fascinated by how dead matter (in this case – color) can produce something alive – a visual sensation. The contemplation done over a particular picture or other work can awaken unexpected horizons which throws a man out of his ordinary everyday life.
How about games, do you think they can also be art?
I’d agree with an older painter colleague that today’s view of art needs redefining because practically every witch doctor shaman today can proclaim themselves an artist. Art in general has lost the power of transcending its own pitiful “ego” – in other words, the ability to change the perception of a man from his sluggish viewpoint.
As for games, I think they transcend art – because the virtual perception of the video-game mixes with the everyday perceptions we bring ourselves. Games could be the future of the cyborg-man but it is clear that total assimilation into virtuality will not be attained, due to the arrogant way we treat our lives and bioms.
So how did you go about making the paintings for our game? What do you think of the game aesthetics in general?
The biggest challenge was to translate my current ductus (or: my style of painting) to fit the form of a squirrel, beaver, and so on. What fascinated me with the Ark characters was their lucidity, the intelligence of dialogues. As for the visuals, everything is clear. The animals have the ability to create and move in spacetime – this is a world of the surreal, of fantasy… Visual elements should therefore be more dispersed. Not abstract, but definitely more fleeting. Man should be in a constant state of feeling that things are continually changing. If I were creating visuals for the entire game, I’d play with the light of the vegetation, the structures (mills and fortresses), I’d create visuals of bugs and bats to complicate things further. It is, for me, too simple – easy. I would personally take hints from the aesthetics of Monet or Rousseau.
And for the last question – what are you doing aside from this?
I’m working on a series of large format paintings where I’m continuing to develop landscapes as a mental space. I want pictures to burn the inside of the man who watches them. So they extinguish themselves i let go to the sensation. Not neccessarily enjoy but at least for a moment to jump out of their own skin.
And currently where can we experience your art?
Currently, I’m exhibiting on a group exhibition “U ljetnom kodu” (In the Summer Code) in the Kranjčar Gallery in Zagreb.
Great! Everyone from Zagreb – feel free to check it out!