Photographer/artist Jurgena Tahiri creates sublime images with the goal of helping people discover their inner selves. She finds it extremely exciting that she possesses the ability to potentially help a stranger reveal his/her internal truth. Jurgena has a certain precision within her work that is both eerie and romantic as well as solitary and mildly apocalytic. You cannot look away. Once you consume one of her images, you must consume them all. Jurgena’s art career is teeming with possibilities and Style.No.Chaser wants to be in the front row to see how it all unravels.
“It has the ability to help the viewer to find their lost self by …”
Please tell us a little about yourself – your childhood, siblings, where you grew up, what you liked as a child, strange thoughts as a child/now, unique attributes, where
you live now, etc.?
I’m a graphic designer, illustrator and freelance photographer currently living in Tirana, Albania. I wanted to be an artist since I was a child and the idea of being something else never crossed my mind. When I was a child I remember spending time experimenting and trying new forms of making art. I used to spend many hours painting after finishing my homework. I never got tired of finding new ways to create art. I used to draw in the corners of pages even when I was studying so I wasn’t that focused and had to re-read everything from the beginning all the time. I have a younger sister who is studying computer engineering and who’s not very much into art, but knows how to appreciate it. She was my favorite model when I was drawing and now she’s one of my favorite models when I take pictures. My father works for a big telecommunications company and he’s more into technology and he’s multilingual.
My mother is my greatest supporter. She accompanied me to my painting courses from age 6 till age 14. She then supported me as I attended the Art Lyceum of Tirana and later the University of Arts from which I graduated this year. So now I hold a Bachelors and Masters degree in Arts. In the later years my sweet half became a major support to me. As Leo Buscaglia says: “Love is life and if you miss love, you miss life.”
What is your earliest art memory?
Well, I have a lot of these memories, but what comes to my mind now, are the moments when I used to sit down on the floor and watch very curiously the artwork of older students in my course class. I was six or seven years old and they were getting ready for the admission competition in the art lyceum. After this I remember going to my drawing table and drawing a lot of colorful butterflies. I think that I had an obsession with colorful primary colored butterflies with open wings. I think that the attention to the detail that I have now in my works comes from all that practice.
How do you describe your form of art and how did you develop your art style?
My photographic work is concentrated in intimate situations. I like to shoot pictures with melancholic atmospheres, pictures that induce the viewer to ask questions or just to enjoy the silence. Some of my projects concentrate on the screaming inner voice which we don’t always listen to. I try to understand people and to bring to art what they feel but may not have the ability to express.
While I was still a student I experimented in many art fields. I started with printmaking and this led me to very detailed traditional illustrations. I incorporated this love for illustration into my design classes and started making book covers, in depth illustrations and taking pictures inspired by all the books I read.
What messages are you trying to convey with your art?
I’m trying to make myself and other people comfortable to talk about whom they are and what they feel.
What philosophy do you live by and what is your ultimate aspiration?
I try all time to stay away from the comfort zone. I think that staying in the comfort zone and not trying to overcome myself will slowly kill creativity. After all art is about seeking things all the time so enough is never enough. I aspire all the time for new ways of making art
How do you think art can change the world we live in for the better?
Art uses different mediums to create meanings. It has the ability to help the viewer to find their lost self by giving a visual translation of their feelings. So it helps people stay comfortable with themselves and others around them. It feels good to know that somebody out there, that you don’t even know, can bring to life what you feel.
Which artist/s do you look up to the most?
Edward Munch, Lucian Freud, and I’m a fan of the silent but yet attractive Victorian photography.
Other than art, what other profession would you like to attempt if you had the time and resources?
I have been into art for so many years that I have never thought of doing anything else.
Who dead or alive, celebrity or not, artist or not, would you like to go on a two week road trip with and why?
I would like to be in the company of G.G. Marquez and watch him write that amazing book – One Hundred Years of Solitude. I would like to have long conversations with Murakami about those amazing fantasy situations in his books and I would love to have an Andalusian trip with Dali and his Gala.
Since Style.No.Chaser is a men’s lifestyle magazine, what attributes/items/clothing /etc. do you think define a man?
What defines a man is his ability to be comfortable with whatever he wears and being uniquely stylish in his own way.
How can people learn more about your current and upcoming projects?
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