Friday, April 14, 2006

Vojko Rizvanovic (BFA, University of Utah) is legally blind, but his artistic vision comes through in his portraits, produced one bit at a time.

His paintings reflect his impairment in subtle ways. Many of his subjects are disabled friends who hold canes or sit in wheelchairs. Rizvanovic paints these people because he identifies with them.

Brandon Griggs, Salt Lake Tribune, 11/6/2005

Marianne and Gephardt. Marianne Fisher is a friend of my family. She comes every Christmas and brings presents for my children. She was the first person to introduce me to the blind center, and helped me to take training for the blind. I will never forget Marianne. This painting is in Marianne's collection. Oil on canvas, 26 x 32. 2003.
The following two paintings are portraits of Michelle. In the first one she's with Herbert, a dog that died three years ago. In the second she's with her new dog. Michelle is blind, but with a very strong inner vision. I have high respect for her.

Oil on board. 11 x 14. 2003.

Oil on board. 11 x 14. 2005.

My work is about me, because it talks about issues that I deal with on a daily basis: my disabilities. I am visually impaired and physically handicapped, therefore the subjects for my paintings are people holding canes, sitting in wheelchairs, or people who have lost parts of their bodies. I choose to talk about disabilities because I want to contribute to that conversation. Disabilities are part of life, and though no one is immune to disabilities, people with disabilities are perceived differently.

The way I see. This is a very dear person to me -- Scott Stenger. He taught me about braille, but also about life. He encouraged me to study art. I painted him this way because I wanted to give out a little bit of the way I really see. Oil on canvas, 16 x 20. 2003.

Mobility in the rain. 18 x 24, oil on canvas.

Braille reader. One more painting on the topic of blindness. 16 x 20, oil on canvas. 2003.

A big small man. This is a portrait of Sid Davis, a disability advisor at the University of Utah. I know him well, and I call him "a big small man" because he is small, but at the same time he is big because he does big things. Oil on board, 11 x 14. 2003.

Giant Stairs. Acrylic on canvas. 18 x 24. 2004.
Wade is a guy from the neighborhood. I know him because he often walks up and down the street. I would sub-title the following paintings "the walker." He is special for me because we both went through a lot. I admire him for who he is, and he is a good friend.

Wade one. Oil on board. 11 x 14. 2003.

Wade two. Oil on canvas, 16 x 20. 2004.

Wade three. Oil on board, 11 x 14. 2005.

Ray. Ray is one of my braille teachers, and is an extremely elegant, well-dressed man. His shoes are always shined, his shirt pressed, his hair in perfect order -- he has a definite style. When you meet him, you notice his image far more than his cane. I wanted to paint him in a different light, to show both the cane and his blindness. Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20. 2005.

Where did I leave my cane? The purpose of this drawing is to show the process of how a piece of art is created. I started with charcoal, continued with pastels, and finished with colored pencils. 14 x 18. Mixed media on paper. 2005.

Study for stairs. This is a portrait of a neighbor of mine who had what I assume to be a stroke. There was no elevator in the apartment building and she and I struggled to go up the staircase everyday. Oil on canvas, 11 x 14. 2005.

Self-portrait. The purpose of this painting was to show the process of painting a self-portrait using a grid. Life-size, acrylic on board. 2002.

Self-portrait with red background. I painted this because people in the United States often tell me that I look Asian. 11 x 14. 2003.

Artist in studio. This was painted on an unstretched canvas in 6-7 hours. It was freestyle. It is life-size. Acrylic on canvas. 2003.

Self-portrait in green shirt. This is a more completed version of a different portrait that I began in 2002. 16 x 20. 2003.

Artist on Stairs. Oil on canvas. 18 x 24. 2004.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Oh my God, what am I going to do now? This painting is a rendering of my personal conception of myself. Oil on canvas, 26 x 36. 2004.
Self-portrait, oil on aluminum plate. This was particularly difficult to do because of my visual impairment. I had a mirror and an aluminum plate placed side by side and was painstakingly going back and forth between the two. I prefer to work from a model (utilizing binoculars) to working from a mirror. 2005.
The following paintings are what I call "my second me." I do not use any optical devices, but paint the way I really see.
Broken Impressionism. This is one of my favorite pieces. It began as an exercise. It took only twenty or thirty minutes, but when I saw the result I loved it. Even though it was painted on a broken board I framed it and have it at home in my personal collection. Acrylic on board, 11 x 14. 2003.
Pointillism. Painted looking through a window. Acrylic on board, 2003.
My Mom. I haven't seen my mother since 1992. I tried to paint her from a photograph she sent me. Somehow I could not paint her the way that I wanted from the photograph, so instead I painted her from memory. Oil on board, 11 x 14. 2004. The slide is very poor but it is my mother and I like to show it.
He is My Vision. Painted summer 2002. I tried to paint the way some of our impressionists painted. (My subtitle for this painting would be In Grohar's Footsteps.) Oil on board.
Imaginary Flowers. This painting is an abstraction based on some plastic flowers and a small vase. I painted it while I was quitting smoking. Oil on canvas, 11 x 14. 2004.
Baby Dona. This is a painting of my youngest daughter, Dona. I painted her when she was three months old. She was rocking in a car seat. Oil on aluminum plate. 2005.