Born in Yugoslavia in 1955, Zoran Mojsilov spent his childhood carving wood, drawing and painting. He studied art at the University of Belgrade in the late 1970s and then at the age of 28 decided to take his art practice to Paris, France. Two years later Mojsilov moved to Minnesota where he lives and works today. After moving the artist continued to work in wood and used assemblage processes he learned while in Paris. It was as an artist-in-residence at La Vie des Formes in Chalon-sur-Saone, France where the artists had a major breakthrough. There he learned to weld and began making sculptures that combined stone and steel, materials he still uses today in numerous public art projects.
Sandstone and steel on granite
7’11” x 6’2″ x 4’2″
Describe your creative process:
ZM: I play with stone, which is a soft material, and steel which is a hard material, and wrestle with these opposing forces. My process is very physical; I pursue three dimensional problems as they appear in front of me.
Tell me about your project at FSP:
ZM: The name of my work on exhibit at Franconia is Diana of Ephesus. This title came after the sculpture was halfway formed. The creative process sent me toward this figurative theme and research about Diana of Ephesus followed.There is a temple dedicated to Diana of Ephesus. Although the site is in ruins, it can be found near the city of Selçuk, Turkey. Diana is also known as Artemis in Greece. She’s the goddess of the hunt, associated with fertility, and known for her multiple breasts.
Why did you propose this project for FSP?
This sculpture, suited for an outdoor setting, was already fabricated and in need of a new home. Franconia was it!
How does your project relate to your previous work?
Although I have been working with stone and steel for many years, it’s nice to change it up and scale down from my public art installations. Steel has always been part of my repertoire, and I use it to tie stone elements together. What is a welcomed change is sandstone; it’s much easier to carve and even reminds me of the way I work with wood.
Where and with whom did you study?
My training was at the University of Belgrade in Beaux Arts. Anatomy was a requirement, and classical figure drawing inspired me. Most of my early sculptures were figurative woodcarvings. I liked wood so much better than working in plaster. Also, I found it for free in Serbia. I should also mention that some Surrealist motifs entered my sculptural forms at that time.
What did you learn at FSP? // What was your biggest challenge?
There weren’t any challenges for me. I like Franconia Sculpture Park, because it’s where young people can work on large-scale projects. It’s always great exchanging ideas with anyone present in the park.
During the spring of 2016, Zolan invited youth in the Twin Cities to help chisel his artwork giving those who participated an interactive art experience.
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