Genc Mulliqi's art can be described as an idea in motion that changes its form and appears through sculpture, painting or photography. I met with him in his studio where he was creating a series of paintings and sculptures. Mulliqi is a professor at the Academy of Arts in Tirana and also chairs the Sculpture Department there. From 2006 to 2008 he served as the Director of the National Gallery in Tirana.
Mulliqi was born in 1976 and attended the Academy of Arts in Tirana where he majored in sculpting. In 1999 he received his Master of Arts from the London Wimbledon School of Arts. His dissertation was titled: “The sculpture in a set environment.” He has exhibited his work, either individually or in group exhibitions, in the Tirana National Gallery of Arts, Germany, Belgium, Great Britain, Italy and elsewhere.
Throughout his artistic career he has utilised sculpting, painting and photographic media but stresses, “I do not hold any kind of prejudgment about the material or the medium. When I am sculpting, I mostly use clay, but I also use bronze and oil paintings because at the end, the material is not that important.” In his work experimentation is significant. He favours human forms in sculpting and the diversity of colours in painting.
Mulliqi pays a great deal of attention to his art, and works with a lot of colours, but sees himself connected to sculpting in public spaces as well. One of his works, which is very dear to his heart, is the memorial in Fushë-Arrëz sculpted in 2005 to honour the memory of the fifteen students from Kosovo who lost their lives in a traffic accident. The memorial is sculpted in bronze and abstractly conceived and it stands four meters tall, three meters wide and a meter and a half deep. It is located outside of the city, amidst a background of rugged nature. The memorial lacks a pedestal as it was envisioned to create the illusion of emerging from the earth. How does anyone begin to create a work of such measures? Mulliqi satisfies my curiosity by explaining: “What is important in the beginning is the choice you make, then I become familiar with the topic, its history and the problems it presents. Then I proceed and choose the place to work implementing all the concepts.”
Another one of his works displayed in a public area is a non-mural painting, but applied as a painting nonetheless called “About diversity”. It has been exhibited in the internal halls of London Greenwich Community College. The author envisioned to install it in a crossroad of halls where it radiates with colours, energy and vibes. “It connects with the space and the original idea that came to my mind was to enable it to vibrate through colour and pace in a multi-ethnical environment which is why I titled it, ‘About diversity’.”
Mulliqi's art brings to life the forms and colours of the world he exists in. However, he does not simply convey a different world, but enriches it with an additional conceptual dimension. How much is his art limited? “I feel free to roam through my ideas and give life to them. Restrictions originate perhaps due to the material, but I have found other solutions.”
Mulliqi paints on a kickstand and while sculpting, he uses various materials such as clay, bronze or ceramic. The recent years have brought him closer to public works. “I like to work in public, because it presents more challenges.” He is currently working on two solo sculpture exhibitions for the near future to be hosted in Tirana and London.