Katarina Ali

Katarina Ali was born in 1973 in Zemun, Yugoslavia. In 1993 she graduated in Industrial Design from the School of Design in Belgrade and in 1999 she graduated in Graphic Planning from the Academy of Beautiful Arts and Design in Belgrade. 

The artist has taken part in numerous collective exhibitions in Italy and in Yugoslavia. She has won the first prize of the drawing competition organized by the gallery "B. Stamenkovic" of Belgrade. Among her personal exhibitions we remember those at the following galleries and places:

  • "Akord" Gallery (Belgrade) in 1999
  • "Hadzi Ruvim" Gallery (Lajkovac) in 1999
  • "Pro Loco Artemisia"  (Castroreale) in 2001
  • Milazzo’s Town Gallery in 2001
  • "Helios" Gallery (Rome) in 2002
  • “Green Manors”  (Castroreale) in 2003
  • "Il Gabbiano" Gallery (Messina) in 2004
  • "Italarte" Gallery (Rome) in 2005.
Katarina Ali
Fluctuating Atmospheres and Magic Visions

Dreamy and fairy atmospheres, gothic style and awareness to the Pre-Raphaelites art permeate the works of the young Yugoslavian artist Katarina Ali.
Her paintings are immersed in a magical, fluctuating, quiet, ethereal and sensual dimension.
Small sparkling lights, similar to fireflies, accompany Katarina's characters illuminating the way bringing them to the search of their own destiny.
The artist's poetics can be found in a text by the poet and writer (as well as diplomat and ambassador) Jovan Ducic: "Tsar Radovan's Treasure". Ducic, influenced by the Parnassians and by the French Symbolist Movement, wrote poetry and lyric verses which introduced in the Serbian literary production the taste of the "art for the art." 
A particular extract of the text, that mentions the Tsar Radovan, allows us to be completely immersed in the magical atmosphere of Katarina's works:
"... of it has spoken Moses when he followed the word of God, Caesar when he crossed the Rubicon and Christopher Columbus when he entrusted his sails to the wind that brought him to the land which he knew nothing about. This treasure also searches for the astronomer that observes the star clouds, the botanist who looks for the secret of the fertilization in the heart of a little flower and the priest who brings back the faith in the hearts of the infidels. Everybody searches, because everybody is insane. Everybody's blood has infected the Tsar Radovan that lives in the grass and in the water, the mighty Tsar that passes by in the sky like a cloud full of lightning or like a burning ship in the sea… ".
The images of Katarina are rich of symbolic references. The music is imprisoned in the instruments played by beings that are a mixture of men, fairies and elves. The images that are obtained evoke dreams and myths, are sweet and light, of a very elegant and refined style.
Iridescent clouds that caress the ground surround the protagonists of the 2006 diptych, in which two flutists found themselves at the heart of a medieval landscape, accompanied by coloured tropical fishes, in a natural environment where water, sky and earth are blended together.
The evocative power of the music is also present in other works, where it is almost always a young woman to play a wind instrument or a type of mandolin, absorbed in an attenuate atmosphere and wrapped by the clouds. In the works of Katarina the woman is always the central character, a woman that oscillates from sorceress to fairy, to Salome to Venus, always in the forefront and surrounded by an aura of mystery. A woman accompanied by small sparks, that discloses herself in front of our eyes but of which we will never know everything about.
Recollections of Liberty and Déco are glimpsed in the grace and the symbolism of some figures, even if the strength of Katarina's figures is far from representing beauty itself. The bond with nature, sky and water, which is usually symbolized by the river Danube dear to her, makes her characters the link between our world and another ideal and exciting world, a world able to envelop our senses and to capture us in ecstasy, far from the reality that surrounds us and that is often painful.
But what are Katarina's characters looking for? Does their flute perhaps recall someone or something?  They seem to want to evoke something greater, maybe they too are looking for Tsar Radovan's treasure. Her paintings are certainly fantastic visions able to take our minds far away into time and space.
In the landscapes nature is the uncontested protagonist and the representations seem more real, nevertheless this does not take away the charm that surrounds the other works.

Cinzia Folcarelli, July 2005