Ziva Zitnik


Živa Žitnik, born 16. 1. 1981 in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

She is freelanced Artist since 2008, she lives and works as in Ljubljana.
She is a member of Ljubljana Fine Artists Society since 2005.


2008 MA Painting, Academy of Fine Arts and Design Ljubljana, Slovenia
2005 graduated with a Diploma, Painting, Academy of Fine Arts Ljubljana, Slovenia.
2000 finished High School Ledina and graduated from ballet on Music and Ballet High School


2010 nomination for Vordemberge-Gildewart Foundation Award
2007 Student Presern award for postgraduate Study of Painting
2007 Nomination for European Art Award “Golden Kentaur 2007″

Solo Exhibitions

2011 I FOUND YOU, La Scatola gallery, London
2010 Bežigrad Gallery 1, »Živa Žitnik, Portraits, Paintings 2005 – 2010«, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
2006 The museum collection of The City Museum of Ljubljana and Tobačna Ljubljana, »Živa Žitnik, Portraits«, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Group Exhibitions

2011 Kos Manor, -Portrait in Contemporary Art-, Jesenice, Slovenia
2010 Museum of Contemporary Art Vojvodina / MSUV, -Fundus ZSPP / The Repository
WUST-, Novi Sad, Serbia.
2010 Gallery Velenje, -Portrait in Contemporary Art-, Velenje, Slovenia. Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb / MSU, -Drawing in Slovenia II. 1940 – 2009 selection-, Zagreb, Croatia.
2010 The Brick Lane Gallery, -Art in Mind-, London, England.
2010 The Modern Gallery of The Cultural Center Gornji Milanovac, -10th International Biennial of Miniature Art-, Gornji Milanovac, Serbia.
2010 City Gallery 1, -Vordemberge-Gildewart Foundation Award 2010-, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
2010 Gallery KiBela (MMC Kibla), -Fundus ZS PP- Maribor, Slovenia. Maribor Art Gallery / UGM, -Drawing in Slovenia II. 1940 – 2009- Maribor, Slovenia.
2009 Jakopič Gallery, -Fundus ZS PP- Ljubljana, Slovenia. Galery ZDSLU, -Floating Memories-, Ljubljana, Slovenia. City Gallery 1, -Drawing in Slovenia II. 1940 – 2009-, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
2008 Kibela Gallery (MMC Kibla), -Figure and Portrait-, Maribor, Slovenia.
2007 City Gallery 1, – HYPERLINK “http://www.mestna-galerija.si/razstava.asp?st=320” ALUO UL 2007, Year Exhibition-, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Gallery Miklova Hiša, -2.m: parallel practices-, Ribnica, Slovenia. Gallery ZDSLU, »Facial Structures-, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Gallery Murska Sobota, -May Salon 2007-, Murska Sobota, Slovenia. Künstlerhaus, -European Art Award Golden Kentaur 2007-, München, Germany.
2006 Gallerie di arte moderna e contemporanea, -Art Fair Reggio Emilia-, Reggio Emilia, Italia
2004 Equrna Gallery, -Students ALU in Ljubljana-, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
2003 Media Nox Gallery, -9th International Digital Art Festival – Friendly Fire-, Maribor, Slovenia.

Valentina Fois on Živa

When I was looking at you, I found myself.
Sometimes I lose the perception of who I am and where I am going. I look at something familiar to find the unfamiliarity suddenly overwhelming me. Other times, I look at my friend and find myself confronted with a duality; does the person in front of me differ from the person in my mind? Every so often I find myself by looking at strangers. Does this happen to you?

Zitnik’s painted portraits made me feel safe, but also scared. The 19 faces of her friends and acquaintances gave me such shocks as I was punched in the face but embraced me tenderly at the same time. Aggressive usage of colours and violent brush strokes intimidated me when I stood in front of her paintings, especially without knowing the focus of the subject’s cold eyes. They are all focused on imaginary points beyond me, avoiding eye contact as if they were real, reminding me of the strangers on the street. By questioning the emotions of the sitters, I began to feel protected because I wasn’t alone anymore. Who are they? What are their stories? What are they looking at? The identities of the sitters are just a big question mark; a medium used by the artist to tell a story not about them but about the artist herself. The backgrounds of the portraits are monochromatic, without any indication of where they could be. Each is given a colour, representative of the artist’s feelings.

By standing in front of these paintings, we are on the edge of fantasy and the reality surrounding us. Are we standing in front of the emotions of the sitter, or the artist, or both? These faces influence us to investigate the mystery behind them and perhaps our own secrets. The subject of the painting is definite, and the artist’s vision through the sitters is vivid; this will vary for each one of us but in the end the person I want that subject to be is revealed. And all of these subjects will meet to create fictional characters, leaving us with surreal familiarities.

“Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter. The sitter is merely the accident, the occasion. It is not he who is revealed by the painter, it is rather the painter who, on the coloured canvas, revealed himself.”
- from ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ by Oscar Wilde

Perhaps the real reflection of us is not our own image, but in the projection of our fantasies on others; perhaps you will find yourself in one of these 19 faces.

works available

Nataša-Ivanuš, Matic, Georg, Peter, Rok, Živa, Gregor, Matjaž, Huberto, Sara.
Oil and acrylic on paper, 100 x 70 cm
Works can be viewed by appointment. To view the whole series and for more information, please email us on:info@lascatolagallery.com