Artist Profile [Srdjan Loncar]

Thom Bennett

From a comfortable distance, Srdjan Loncar’s sculptures look innocuous enough, taking the life-size shapes of a tree, a deer, a campfire, even a woman dressed as if she’s running a few errands. Come closer, though, and Loncar’s art reveals itself to be a disorienting clash between the ideas of real and replica, past and present, the two-dimensional and three-dimensional and the authenticity of representation.

Loncar’s seemingly familiar objects, sculpted in foam forms, are covered entirely in a great multitude of photos of themselves, so thousands of images of bark make up
the trunk, limbs and branches of his tree.

“What we see on TV, in the movies, we’re bombarded by it, and people can hardly tell the difference between what is real and what isn’t,” says Loncar. “People get their reality through these representations. What I’m doing is showing that in its extreme.” Loncar was born in Croatia, and from an early age he made frequent trips between his homeland and the New Orleans area, where his family has ties. He studied both sculpture and photography at the University of New Orleans on his way to earning a master’s degree in fine arts in 2003. During the upheaval after Katrina, Loncar wound up in California, where he received a residency award from the Kala Art Institute in Berkeley to help continue his work.

Since returning home, his bold approach and often large, installation-style work has come roaring across the city’s contemporary art scene. Most recently, he was one of only a handful of Louisiana-based artists invited to participate in Prospect.1 New Orleans, the groundbreaking international art biennial now under way at venues across town.

Loncar chose a uniquely interactive approach for his Prospect.1 piece, which is on display at the Old U.S. Mint. His installation consists of piles and piles of money –– thousands of individual foam sculptures covered in photos of currency. Visitors are invited to buy these bundles, which they can haul home in a collection of some 500 suitcases.

“Gold used to back our economy,” Loncar says. “Well, now we all see how up in the air that is. We have representation of value; we believe something is valuable because we say it is. I want to see what the value of this art will be.”

Loncar’s Prospect.1 New Orleans installation is on exhibit at the Old U.S. Mint through Jan. 18. To see more examples of his work, go to www.arthurrogergallery.com.

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