Lorette C. Luzajic loves to travel, but has lived in Toronto, Canada, for the past thirty years, not far from where she was born.
She says, "I am driven by eclectic curiosity, and by the joy of juxtaposition. My work is a curiosity cabinet and an apothecary of magic potions and spells. It is poetry, and a surreal dream. It is the frantic pace of the city and the magnificent silence of the night. It is about love and death and the sacred and inane, and the absurdity and beauty in all things."
Compared to Rauschenberg, Schwitters, and Basquiat, and inspired by Warhol, Joseph Cornell, Robert Motherwell, and Antoni Tapies, Lorette C. Luzajic wears her influences on her sleeve. Appropriating relentlessly from art history, advertising, music, poetry, fiction, culture, religion, and travel, she plunders everything but creates work that is original and entirely her own.
Lorette writes, "A collagist is always looking, always deconstructing and reconstructing. From dentist waiting room magazines to church hymnals to art history masterpieces at the museum to nightclub flyers, my mind is constantly snipping, juxtaposing, discovering, experimenting, replacing, gluing over, scraping back layers, recontextualizing."
Lorette studied for and received a Bachelor of Applied Arts degree in journalism, but went on to focus on creative work in visual art, photography, poetry, and writing about art. She is the founding editor of The Ekphrastic Review at www.ekphrastic.net, the flagship journal of ekphrastic literature. Last year, she was awarded a grant by the Ontario Arts Council to work on a series of ekphrastic stories, a single project which turned into two collections, The Rope Artist and The Neon Rosary. Other ekphrastic collections include Winter in June, and Pretty Time Machine. Her work has also appeared in several hundred publications and over a dozen anthologies. Ekphrasis is essential to Lorette's work, because the lifelong passion driving her written and visual work is art history. She studies, researches, looks at, reads about, teaches, and writes about art every day.
Her visual art has taken her to an international symposium in North Africa, and to an exhibition in the Yucatan, Mexico. It has been shown on a 20 foot billboard in New Orleans, inside the Berlin Metro, in nightclubs like Canvas in Mississauga, and in a sticker vending machine. It has been shown at the Sarria Bienal in Spain. It is on display at the Non Gallery in the legendary shipping container house in Hamilton, Ontario, and has been mentioned on the Marilyn Denis show. It has been used in a magazine ad campaign for Madrid-based luxury jewelry company Carrera y Carrera. It has been used as a set prop in film and television, including Save My Reno, Zoe Lister Jones' Slip, and 1Up starring Ruby Rose. A short documentary about her work was made by Artists Unknown Productions, called Asking For a Friend. She has been interviewed on the Savvy Artist podcast. She was featured in a TV show on Camoes TV by Stella Jurgen, Stella's Studio.
Lorette's work has been used on the cover of two textbooks, a novel by Kathryn Silver-Hajo, and multiple poetry anthologies. It has also been used to illustrate a book about collage. Her art won first place and $5000 from Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and E11even Restaurant in Toronto. Several writers have written collections of poetry inspired by her paintings. She has been a juror for the City of Barrie Arts Awards and twice for Australia's international emerging artist prize, the Boynes Awards. She curated one year's, Touched By Fire exhibition for the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario, where she was an art show planning committee member for many years. Her work has been auctioned at Waddington's in Toronto and beyond, and also featured on Artsy. It is part of an art hotel in Detroit. It has been exhibited at the Royal Ontario Museum.
Lorette's mixed media paintings have found homes all over the world, in at least forty countries so far, including Germany, Australia, Thailand, Peru, and Saudi Arabia. They hang in collections alongside originals by Miro, Erte, Dubuffet, Ellsworth Kelly, Jim Dine, Jane Ash Poitras, and Benjamin Chee Chee. They are in several corporate collections and in the collection of the Tunisian Ministry of Culture, as well as in private collections.
Lorette's artwork reflects her eclectic curiosity. If art history is her major interest, including still life art, Latin American art, folk art, Outsider Art, and women in art, she also loves rings, beads, the history of jewelry, making jewelry, ancient civilisations and archeology, Christian art and lore, flamenco and ballet, poetry and other literature, wines of the world, yoga, cats, camels and other animals, Mexico City, the blues, psychology, global cuisine and cooking, as well as nutrition, humour, and collecting miniature curiosities and artefacts.
Lorette's roller coaster journey includes early struggles with bipolar disorder. She is an addiction survivor. She is also a breast cancer survivor. Today she has limited mobility after a botched leg surgery and lives in chronic pain. But she won't stop painting and writing until she is dead.