Women and death are two of the bigger topics in traditional Colombian discourse: just pick up the tabloids or listen in on any street-side conversation. These iconic elements run up against one another in painter Dresan Millojara’s series, Mujeres y La Muerte.
After studying design at the Colombian university UPB, he renounced graphic arts the day after graduating and soon thereafter found himself at the Chelsea College of Arts in London. Now back in Medellin, Millojara has struck out on his own by producing independent exhibits on his own terms rather than going through a commercial agent or gallery. He recently held his first exhibition on the third floor of an old empty house; it was there that we had the chance to sit down and talk with Dresan about his background and work.
Jack: Talk about your decision to turn away from your design background and towards painting.
Dresan Milojara: I was never into the idea of working in front of computers, especially for hours at a time. I suppose it was your classic rejection of the 9 to 5 world.
J: How did your time spent studying art in London affect your outlook and work?
DM: London was a huge inspiration, quite a drastic change from Colombia. More than anything I found that paining was my calling.
J: Let’s talk about your Women & Death series. There are all these juxtapositions – women (traditionally symbols of creation) against death, pale drawn bodies against colorful skulls…
DM: When I began this series I was in a period where I noticed my subjective reality was much more surreal than the concrete reality I knew other people were operating in. So I focused on what I love most in the world – women. I work a lot with opposites, so for me it was an exploration of life and death. That’s my way.
J: Any plans for new works/series?
DM: For my new exhibition I am working on portraits of people with their personal keepsakes, putting the objects in the same frame as the person to create a tension between the two.
For more on Dresan’s work check out his flickr page here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dresanmillojara/
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