To a local audience, Goran Tomcic's upcoming show, Heart Strings at Dimensions Variable, seems made with Miami in mind; his choice of materials for the pieces are hanger wire, Mylar sequins, and fishing line. But the truth is that he's chosen these for their reflective properties, and not for the superficial glitz of this town or the romanticized vapidity of media interpretation. "The choice of materials I am interested in, are reflective and therefore questions space and the movement in that space," he explains. The works that will be exhibited have taken Tomcic close to eight months of assembly with "uncountable" hours logged.
Goran Tomcic is no stranger to South Florida. From 1997 through 1999, he served as the director of Wolfson Galleries at Miami Dade College and that, coupled with his global makeup, makes him a perfect cosmopolite in Miami. Growing up on Hvar Island in the Split-Dalmatia County of present day Croatia on the Adriatic coast, Tomcic spent his youth surrounded by the Greco-Roman heritage of the region. A self-described Mediterranean, he marries the freedom and comfort of the sea with his tenures in urban sprawls.
After living in New York City for 20 years, Tomcic relocated to Berlin, where he discovered a remnant umbra of the former Soviet shadows of both his new home and the Yugoslavia of his youth. "What I find interesting [about the formerly divided Berlin] is a certain appreciation for many things Russian and the former East Germany. Many can speak Russian and know a lot about the Russian culture, which is nice, as Berlin is a melting point for many from the former Eastern Europe, so Slavic languages are very much present in Berlin now."
When asked about the sheer scope and obsessive nature of this show, Tomcic is undaunted by the magnitude of the repetitiveness. "If watching that video gave you anxiety, then you can only imagine how I felt while making those strings of hearts. If there is catharsis connected to my work, then that would be the feeling that I have made a viewer happy. Nothing pleases me more than that when it comes to my art making."
While he might be egged on in the pursuit of his explorations of space and the reciprocity therein, Tomcic seems renewed in spirit and unburdened by the sheer magnitude of his work. "This project made me so crazy that I feel as if I have achieved a specific sort of freedom within my work," he explains. "I make small and big works, but my favorite way of expressing myself lays in making large-scale installations. This Miami exhibition is composed of many smaller objects and two large ones, but the smaller objects are all composed of the long strings of hearts. This is just to say, that sometimes even the small objects require the same amount of making as the big ones."
But for all the grandiosity of the event's minutiae, there's something wholesomely familiar about Tomcic's work and global demeanor that can be the greatest asset in his favor: he is disarmingly charming in his intent. Christy Gast, a Miami artist involved in organizing the exhibition, recently met Tomcic upon his arrival in Miami. "I'd just been out of town and met him the other night," she says. "We drank cinnamon-flavored whiskey, and he's staying at my house."
An artist who reflects upon his surroundings so that he too may question the space he inhabits, with time to spare for booze with new friends -0 that's got to pull on your heart strings, doesn't it?
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
"Heart Strings" at Dimensions Variable opens July 12 with a reception from 7 to 10 p.m., and runs through August 22. Visit dimensionsvariable.net.
Send your story tips to Cultist at email@example.com.