Iztok Retar:
I tell the story
of the wind,
the sun and the sea

Iztok Retar is a contemporary painter based in Slovenia. An abstract at heart, Retar focuses on color to evoke feelings from his work. We caught up with Iztok Retar to learn more about his art, themes he's inspired by and what he's got planned next.

- What are the major themes you pursue in your work?
- I often use the motifs of sailboats or, better, sailing, with which I tell the artistic story of the wind, the sun and the sea in coexistence with sailors. With the characteristic figurative depiction of the structures of boats, taut sails and varied waves, I show both connection and cooperation as well as competition and classification at sea, which can also symbolize everyday real life….

- Do you tend to work on more than one painting at a time?
- As a rule, I plan thematic, i.e. content collections with a key message and meaningful technical characteristics, such as the choice of material, canvas size, color design, composition. Therefore, I design several works simultaneously, which allows me to compare and grow with each other.

- What are the fundamental messages you want to get across with your work?
- Above all, I want to create pleasant conditions for establishing interaction between the image, the painter and the viewer, who simultaneously looks at the image, feels it with all the senses, and thus gets to know and internalize it with his reflection. Alone and in his own way. My work is just to convey an artistic stimulus, to design time and space for reflection. Whether I succeed in this, only my "followers" know.

... My work is just to convey an artistic stimulus, to design time and space for reflection ...

- What has been your best exhibition experience?
- Certainly this was my first solo exhibition “Sorting” Not only because it was the first, but because it was designed holistically. At the opening of the exhibition, I also presented my new professional book in the field of didactics of movement in early childhood, which is my research area and organized a round table on the topic of competition, classification. Of course, the cover of the book had a picture from the exhibited works on the theme of sailing regatta as a metaphor for today's excessive competition everywhere.

- How do you see current art?
- Also due to the pandemic, many artists have shifted to social networks and new virtual platforms, including NFT. Works of art are therefore relatively more accessible to users, but in my opinion they are losing out on the interaction that allows a direct view of a picture, event, live exhibition in general.

- How could the art industry become better in your opinion?
- Unfortunately, the modern service industry, including the art industry, often puts profit at the forefront, using both the artist-artist and the user-buyer exclusively as a means to achieve their business goals. The advanced art industry should focus on the holistic support of the artist and on the lifelong learning of the user to be functionally connected to art.

- What are your next projects?
- NFT technologies present me with a new challenge, so I am familiar with this concept of both the design of works of art and their marketing, and I am moderately conservative: not every invention is an innovation.