When we first met Pelikan, we were blown away by his unique approach to hardboard sculpture. Then we installed Pelikan’s mixed media art at one of our galleries and the response has been incredible. Today we share with you, our interview with Pelikan, shedding light on his process and how his art came to be.
Tell us about your style of art and how you create it?
My current practice is focused on sculpture. I use a combination of recycled materials (mostly computer mother boards, parts, electronic appliances and discarded iron and steel).
My artistic style oscillates between abstract and symbolic representation (masks and totems). I have a very industrial aesthetics with lots of hard and sharp edges. My work is highly textured. A key ingredient, my secret sauce, is industrial glue. I use this as the binding agent – sort of cold welding. People often mistake my pieces as welded objects.
How did you find and learn your art form?
I initially started in painting but found the materials did not quite give me what I was looking for. An artist friend pointed out one day “..you just want to get off the canvas don’t you..”. That got me thinking and along with a very long history of collecting objects that I find, particularly metal…one thing led to another and over about 5 years I have been developing my work and ideas through recycled materials and industrial objects.
What is the most challenging part about creating your artwork?
For me starting is never a problem.. I love making and adding things to my objects. The difficult thing is knowing that moment when you know the piece is finished. This is particularly the case with abstract pieces. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve added one object too many and had to start from scratch. It’s a balancing act between adding or exploring the idea and keeping the composition just right.
When do you feel most creative? What inspires your process?
I’m at my best when I am happy with the world. When I’m grumpy or sad I rarely do good work. For me happiness is an openness to the world so when you get in the groove it just pores in from everywhere. On an intellectual level I often drawn back to two core themes – how identity is recycled, re-imagined and re-invented; and the notion of tribes and the role of technology in creating them.
Sculpture is a very tactile process. The touch and texture of the materials as much as their shape help guide how to use them. I like creating visual signatures between pieces. Because I use recycled material it’s very much about what you find, so works often come in batches. I am inspired by industrial landscapes, the effort and ingenuity in creating them – they are a completely human construct. On the flip side they can be quite humbling because despite our great wealth and resources our constructed landscapes are a poor substitute for the magic show that is nature.
Stay up to date with Pelikan’s latest works via his Instagram: @milospelikan and Facebook: @milos.pelikan.9