MEET ARTIST NAIMA AOUNI
GALIA VELEVA: INTERVIEW WITH SECOND PLACE PRIZE WINNER OF THE INTERNATIONAL FiKVA AWARD FOR PAINTERS 2023 – NAIMA AOUNI
Q: Please, tell us a bit about your past.
I’m born in Belgium, Antwerp. Grew up and currently living in Antwerp. I fell in love with drawing around the age of 10-11 years old. As years passed by, I became interested in pursuing art as a career. However, I only started to paint when I was 23 years old. Two years later I had the opportunity to showcase my work in a professional setting, in a gallery.
Lacrimosa, Oil on linen, 77 cm diameter, 2021
Q: If you could go back in time to what were the happiest times of your childhood, where would you go and why?
I think, discovering you have some drawing abilities and improving your skills without any pressure, was very liberating. That feeling does somewhat get lost when you turn your passion into a job.
Q: What themes touch you the most? Do you have a favorite theme represented in your art? Or any future plans to work with a particular theme?
I would say melancholy, vanitas and pathos resonate with me the strongest.
When I’m producing my own work, I’m fascinated by melancholy. This ties of course with my own experiences and personality.
Wabi-Sabi #9 / Oil on panel, 33,5 x 25,5 cm, 2021
Q: Do you have a morning ritual or a ritual before you start creating? Please tell us about it.
Usually, I start with a cup of coffee, then I put my music on and scroll through a folder with art images. I scroll through them to enjoy the art but also to learn and be inspired. After some time, I start painting.
Q: What makes your heart pound faster (in terms of art)?
When I see an oil painting that transcends the medium itself. It’s not just 2D but goes beyond that. That has the power to evoke strong emotions. Just makes me forget that I’m merely observing.
Wabi-Sabi #3 / Oil on panel, 60 x 60 cm, 2021
Q: What is your ikigai?
Being an artist is a big part of my life, it’s not just a job or even a passion. I need to do art, it’s a strong urge to do so. Perhaps best to describe it is, it’s a calling for me and that in itself gives me a purpose.
The human experience is what fuels the need to do art. Art in return enriches it.– NAIMA AOUNI –