Ejti Stih de Fernandez de Cordova, a Yugoslavian-born and educated painter, resides and works in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Over the course of her active studio and exhibition career, she has exhibited her paintings throughout South America and Spain. Ejti, whom is fluent in several languages including English, lectured at the University of Georgia on Tuesday, September 21, 1999. This lecture was held in the M. Smith Griffith Auditorium in the Georgia Museum of Art. She also lectured in Dr. Cochran’s Art Appreciation class in the Lamar Dodd School of Art. Although she claimed to possess a lack of confidence in front of a large audience, I believe she portrayed herself brilliantly.
Ejti’s work is darkly humorous and filled with socio-political satire. She paints metaphorically in an expressionistic and exaggerated style, which is similar to other artists such as Jack Levine. She has been compared to Levine because of her ability to distort or pervert all genders in society, politics, religion, and sexuality with her sarcastic and ironic style. One might differentiate Ejti for her ability to distort reality and her use of symbols and stylization to give objective expression to her inner experience. Ejti also creates book, magazine, poster, and newspaper illustrations.
Occasionally, she produces ceramic sculptures and prints, and has been known to design costumes for theatrical performances.
During her visit to Dr. Cochran’s class, Ejti discussed her twenty-five year career in the arts and the nature of her work. She believes that an artists’ work is
derived from his or her surroundings and society, and that the work should clearly represent what the artist thinks. Ejti focused on the fact that the audience should direct their attention to the work first, and then, they should look at the title only as an extra layer to the work in order to identify some of the ideas. This theory comes from the notion that an artist does not think in terms of words, but rather as a visionist.
The two works that we studied in class are not representational of Ejti’s overall work. However, she devoted all of her time and energy into these works in order to become genuinely involved in the work itself. Ejti claims, “One has to have faith in what they do regardless of whether it is an organized religion. You have to be deeply involved.” She views art as a direct way to communicate with the external world.