Auto-Biography of Claudia Markovich
I was born in Brooklyn, New York to immigrant parents. My mother grew up during World War II in Germany and left for France after the war. My father escaped Yugoslavia on a student visa just after it became communist. They met in Paris, where Mom was working and Dad was studying, while both awaited visas to the United States. As a child, my younger sister and I accompanied our parents to Europe on a regular basis to visit relatives and friends. I think the early exposure to multiple cultures, languages, and standards gave me a unique perspective on my own lifestyle and standards.
I lived in New York City through high school, which was my first daily subway commute. After getting a bachelors degree from MIT, I moved across the river to Boston, near Fenway Park. It was a short walk from my apartment to the Mass. College of Art, where I took my first college-level painting classes. Then, I moved to the Washington, D.C. area, where I had my first exhibits. Eventually I returned to New York City and lived in various spots in Queens. I studied at the Art Students League and commuted via the subway carrying my large paintings. I got some strange looks, but nobody bothered me. I had some experience with the Soho art scene, which provided background for my novel, Nikola's Nightmares.
I moved around a lot for a couple of decades, and lived a lot. I played keyboards and sang background vocals for a rock band, helped with still photography for a low budget horror movie, and worked for all different-sized businesses in a variety of industries. I met, befriended, and probably offended, many people along the way. Unfortunately, I have lost touch with most of them, but the kaleidoscope of their impressions stays with me. I try to use all of it in my art, and to make some sense of it all as I go along.
In 1999 I had a son, and now I have a reason to stay put. By watching and participating in his development, I see a whole new side of life, and he is teaching me to live more in the moment. I also find myself re-examining my own childhood, now with a completely new perspective. I currently reside in Huntington, Long Island, where I have found space to paint within walking distance of a museum and several art centers. And when I need to touch base with the big time, it's a short commute to New York City.
In 2001, I put my artwork and writing on note cards and started ClaudiaM Publications. It stated as an idea of a way to make a living from my art work, but has grown to become a way of life. Sometimes I think of it as my performance piece - a way to bring my artwork to the general public and, through my Web sites, open myself up to feedback, to see if my vision is something others can relate to. At other times, it feels like a test of my business abilities, challenging and yet rewarding, because I've always wanted to work for myself. But most of the time, it's just a series of daily challenges which must be faced, hopefully with the big picture in mind. Most of all, I have learned to value balance: between my art, my business and my family, my self - all are important and all require time. Often I have to settle for working harder, and getting less, than I expected, but every once in a while I get an unexpected pleasant surprise that makes everything all the more worth while.
2005 is almost upon us and I'm going green, for a change and to incorporate the color of nature in my everyday life and experiences. The more I read the news, the more I realize we have only one live to live, and only one present to count on. So I must realize all my fantasies in the present, or not at all.
In May, 2008, I rented a retail space and started Artastic Destination, a gallery showing my work and the work of other local artists. In the one life theme - a big risk - but also a great adventure, and I shall see how it goes.
More about my art in : Artists Statement; my exhibitions are listed in Art Resume; my general statement and photo on the About the Artist page. My paintings are available in Painting Tours, Painting Tour Guide 1, Painting Tour Guide 2, Painting Tour Guide 3, Painting Tour Guide 4, and Painting Index. Note cards of some paintings are available at Note Cards. Nikola's Nightmares, Feedback and Refer this site are also available, as well as Biography FAQ.