Nataša Ljubetić Tomić / Phantom Vibrations
Nataša Ljubetić Tomić’s painting oeuvre can be treated as a work-in-progress and is a result of multiple years of work, continuously upgraded with new motifs, themes and techniques. Therefore, it is appropriate to seek the roots of this exhibition among the author’s earlier works. With regards to the motif of communication in general, talking about “Phantom Vibrations” exhibition may, in a certain way, be equal to talking about “Traces” (2011) or “Plehin put bb” (2008) exhibitions, both held at Salon Galić.
On Theme and Motifs
The inception of the exhibition is actually in the photographs taken by the artist during travels, in a time when communication, due to mobility and distance from the “centre”, was more difficult than today, making contemporary human obsession with technological advancements and virtual communication more prominent. The artist transferred these notions to her paintings using so called digital colour, one that cannot be found in our reality, making her landscapes seem washed out. Although one may think otherwise, her motifs were carefully chosen, and subsequently, if we carefully analyse the works, we can deduce that the aesthetic criterion is very important in this case. The motifs symbolise outside world we do not usually pay attention to because our focus lies rather on what is on the screen/screens in front of us. Because of that, exhibited exteriors are annulled, toned down, supressed, slightly devoid of emotion. Landscapes and architecture are the main themes of this cycle, however, as opposed the author’s prior work, there are no individual objects. Her works look as if the time has stopped. Although in this cycle the author does not categorically decide in favour of one or other world, but rather, as she says, “testifies about her own time” through her experiences, it is possible to argue that these works are not a critique of technological domination and virtual world or life, but rather its commentary.
The primary motif of this exhibition, materialised through the dichotomy of virtual world and reality, is communication. The author deals with the role of technology in individual’s everyday life, both on personal, cognitive, and social level. She uses technology to experience architecture and landscapes visually, translating them onto transparencies afterwards, directly evoking social networks as one of the most widespread communication providers in the exhibited triptych. The messages it comprises are authentic, reproduced in original state and represent subtle contextualisation of alienation caused by the use of technology. Thus, the screen simultaneously becomes both an obstacle and the only means of entering the outside world, proof of the aforementioned encumbrance and obsession with technology, i.e. phantom vibration.
Short Note on Visual Language
Art historians as well as other authors have already written about Nataša Ljubetić Tomić’s specific artistic technique in exhibition forewords. It is a result of multiannual research and experiments, leading the author to hold several public lectures on that subject. Despite the fact that sometimes we cannot clearly recognise the movement of a paintbrush and that it often resembles some kind of print, the artist’s work is painterly in every sense of the word. Works painted using liquid polish on one or two transparencies are based on detailed sketches. Afterwards, she removes some parts by “scratching” them to gain desired effects in the form of colour combinations in different layers. Her technique was a subject of Sandi Bulimbašić’s text on the occasion of “Plehin put bb” exhibition, as well as Vedran Perkov’s text for the “Traces” exhibition. This specific technique is partially a result of the author’s nine-year residence in Italy, where she spent her studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Macerata and Animation School in Rome.
Finally, questions raised by this cycle are not “exclusively” artistic; they concern a social problem spread on everyday level, the one that Dario Šošić in the description of Nataša’s latest Rovinj exhibition defines as, to paraphrase, an illusion that prevents us from experiencing true communication and quality relations we chronically lack.
 http://www.galum.hr/izlozbe/izlozba/1259/ 6.11.2016
 http://www.culturenet.hr/default.aspx?id=71756 7.11.2016
Nataša Ljubetić Tomić was born in 1978 in Split.
In 2001, she graduated in painting from the Academy of Fine Arts in Macerata, Italy.
In 2004, she graduated in animation from International School of Comics in Rome.
She is a member of Croatian Association of Visual Artists Split, Croatian Association of Visual Artists Zagreb and Croatian Freelance Artists Association.
She has exhibited her work in seven solo and numerous group exhibitions in Croatia and abroad.
2016 Croatian Association of Visual Artists Zagreb yearly exhibition, Zagreb
2015 39th Split Salon, Representations of Split, Split
2015 Adria Art Anale, Merging of Worlds, Diocletian’s Basements, Split
2015 Rovinj Art Colony, Rovinj Heritage Museum, Rovinj
2013 Croatian Association of Visual Artists Zagreb yearly exhibition, Zagreb
2009 Experiencia 2009, MECA – Mediterraneo Centro Artistico, Almeria
2009 Fem – Fractal en LadyfestSur 09, Triana, Sevilla
2009 Woman Caleidoscopio, Casa de la Cultura, Moron de la Frontera
2008 Oversea – Art from Mediterranean, Casoria Contemporary Art Museum, Casoria
2008 Mediterraneo nell’arte, Museo d’Arte Moderna Vittoria Colonna, Pescara
2000 Forme Simboliche, Galleria d’ Arte Puccini, Ancona
2000 Dieci Artisti per l’Inner Wheel, Galerija Galeotti, Macerata, Italija
2000 Dessins d’ Essai, Civitanova M.
2000 Lo sguardo interiore, Antico Pio Monte Frumentario, Gualdo
2000 Lo sguardo interiore, Palazzo Olivi, Montefano
1999 Spazi delle possibilita, ex slaughterhouse, Macerata
1999 Hotel Kaktus, Supetar, island of Brač
1999 Imprevisti, prints exhibition, Civitanova M.
1999 Accade(la)mia, Ripe San Ginesio
1999 Galleria La Cuba d’Oro, Premio Maurizio Marchese, Rim
1998 Croatian Cultural Artistic Society Bol, Croatian Reading Room, Bol, island of Brač
1998 Mostri Santi ed altri giochi, Corridonia county
1997 Artists of Sutivan, Sutivan, island of Brač
2016 Phantom Vibrations, Church of St. Thomas Gallery, Rovinj
2012 Inter nos, Museum of Fine Arts, Split
2011 Traces, Salon Galić, Split
2010 Plehin put bb, Vladimir Filakovac Gallery, Zagreb
2009 Wrappings, Diocletian’s Basements, Split
2008 Plehin put bb, Salon Galić, Split
2002 Church of St. John, Sutivan, island of Brač
Art festivals and symposiums
2015 Art colony, Ulcinj
2010 Art of the Neighbouring Countries, Ulcinj
2008 International Painting Symposium of Young European and Mediterranean Artists,
2008 EkoSusak, International festival of eco culture, Susak
2006 Susak Expo, Susak