Potomac Twenty-four of Montgomery County photographer Gordana Gerskovic’s prints were featured in the “City Skin” exhibit recently in Washington D.C.’s Modern Times Coffeehouse. The exhibit debuted on Saturday, April 27, and was featured through June 3.
The exhibit was received so well by the public that the exhibit was extended from its original May 30 closing date.
Although Gerskovic is confident in her work, she said she was very excited and even pleasantly surprised on opening day.
That Saturday “was so amazing, with so many people, so many artists, old people, young people from all different walks of life,” Gerskovic said. “The space did not hold that many people. There were people in and out and coming and all congratulating me. They were all attracted to the art.”
She said the overall outcome of the exhibit was all she hoped for.
“My art was on for six weeks and I got so much attention,” Gerskovic said. “I [had] 24 pieces on display and I sold 11. Every day I have been contacted with numerous people who want to compliment and encourage me to keep making my art.”
This exhibit, she added, was a catalyst for many more projects.
“I was contacted by numerous prestigious galleries who suggested [that they] represent my photography,” Gerskovic said. “So, I got unbelievable exposure and I am extremely satisfied with this exhibit.”
Stefan Ducich, events and catering manager at Modern Times Coffeehouse, said the “City Skin’ received a lot of positive feedback.
“Our goal is to promote new, local artists; to provide a venue for them, and to expand our community,” Ducich said. “We also get the privilege of hosting a diverse group of creative new art.”
Gerskovic’s photography features every day subjects, elements of life she said people often do not stop to observe.
“We don’t see things because we are busy,” Gerskovic said. “I don’t choose the images to photograph, the images choose me. When I am out, they just come out and pose for me.”
Ducich said the arts program at Modern Times has a selection committee that ultimately chose to include Gerskovic’s art as one of their exhibits.
“I'm responsible for filtering submissions and organizing the calendar, then we meet as a committee to discuss,” he said. “Most often, artists come to our attention by word of mouth, but in Gordana's case, one of the members of our selection committee is a friend. He brought her to my attention, and once we agreed to show her work, I met personally with Gordana to discuss her show, logistics, etc.”
It has taken many years for Gordana to become a public figure in the world of fine arts photography.
She said her love for photography started with a childhood passion for the images in the Croatian newspapers delivered to her family’s home.
“I started to put this together about a year ago, last September,” Gerskovic said. “I always liked photographs. I am from Zagbreb, Croatia … As I child, I couldn’t afford a lot of things, but I would always cut a picture from a newspaper and cherish that picture and play with it like an object.”
Despite her early passion, it took a lay off from her position in corporate sales last year to lead her to pursue photography full time.
“Last year, I was very depressed having lost my job,” Gerskovic said. “I was in a panic, but it ended up being somewhat of a blessing. I got out and started capturing things with my camera. I would take a picture of something that would be magical around us, but something people would not notice. From that, my photography started to develop.”
Initially, Gerskovic said she wanted to keep her photography to herself; she considered her photographs very personal.
“I wanted it to be a secret,” she added, “something I would see and do and nobody would know about it.”
She said hearing the story of Vivian Maier, a photographer who only achieved acclaim post mortem, inspired her to be more public about her art.
“I heard a story on the radio last September about a photographer, Vivian Maier, who died and no one knew her work,” Gerskovic said. “No one ever saw her photographs until she died. I started crying, I didn’t want to be Vivian Mayer. That’s when I got the courage to show my photographs. That was when I started showing to my friends.”
She said feedback from her friends helped her choose the images for “City Skin.”
“People really saw something in the combination of color, shapes and lines, “Gerskovic said. “So that is what started the ‘City Skin’ project, when I put all of my 24 pictures together.”
She added that she was moved by every image she chose to hang in the Modern Times Coffee House.
“City Skin,” she said, is her first big exhibit, but she has more on the horizon.
“I had a couple of exhibits before that, but this is first big exhibit that is getting a lot of attention and exposure,” Gerskovic said. “My next exhibit that is happening here in Montgomery County, which will be from July 26 until Sept. 22 at the Activity Center at Bohrer Park, in Gaithersburg.”
She said she not only sold photographs, but accepted commissions for other projects.
“It is amazing to wonder where people are going to hang my art in their house,” she said. These people want my art in your house because they think it is worth it.”
Photographer’s next exhibit is at the activity center at Bohrer Park in Gaithersburg.