She is a Slovenian-born (1968) international mid-career artist, known for her photographs and paintings painted with bright colors, vivid atmospheres of gardens with lush vegetation and bright light. She earned her M.F.A. in Painting from Academie Minerva in Groningen, The Netherlands in 1995.
She lived and worked as well in Florence, Venice, Paris, Morocco and California. She is currently living summer time at Villa Flora, Branik in the Pre-Coastal Wine Country of Slovenia (Central Europe) and winter time in SE Asia..
Lately she has been very much attracted by explosive energy of the South-East Asia. Followed by stays in Hong Kong, Singapore, Bali, Indonesia, Kula Lumpur, Malaysia, Bokeo and Vientiane, Laos and Chiang Mai e Bangkok, Thailand. Collaborations with Asian galleries as Instinc in Singapore, Wina in Bali & 116 Art Gallery in Chiang Mai Thailand. She exhibited as well as a “NEW FIND” at Art Singapore 2010 and extensively at AAF Singapore 2010. For 2012 she had personal exhibitions at Rotunda Gallery in Bangkok, The Substation Arts Center in Singapore. For 2013 – 2014 she had, two big Contemporary Art Museum shows in Thailand: at Chiang Mai Contemporary Art Museum and at Jamjuree Art Gallery in Bangkok, an Art Museum of Chulalongkorn University. Currently she is preparing a multi-city exhibition: "Tjasa Iris - 7 Winters in Southeast Asia - A European Under the Tropics" that will travel to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phnom Penh, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Singapore and Hong Kong, that is all the places where Tjasa was living and creating over the past 8 years.
She is a member of Slovenian Artist Association since 1996.
She learnt 9 languages including Thai as the last one.
Her works are in many private and public collections in The Netherlands, Slovenia, Italy, France, Norway, South Africa, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and USA.
She lived her childhood in Žiri, a small village in the Gorenjska (Pre-Alpine) region of Slovenia. She is Slovenian-born, but as well as of Italian and Austrian descent. She was born to a middle class family. Father unknown, her stepfather Ernest Demšar was a director in a uranium mine and her mother Nataša (b. Kavčič) a kindergarten and pre-school teacher. After a year of studying International Relations – Political Science at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, she moved to Florence, Italy, at the age of 18 which meant a new birth for her. She started to study photography and painting at a private art school: International School of Fine Art Fortman Studios, in Via Fiesolana 34r, today no-more existing, where she gained a diploma in 1991. She continued her study of photography at Staffordhaire Polytecnic for a semester in Stoke-on-Trent. Later she continued her studies at Audio-Visual Department at Academie Minerva in Groningen, The Netherlands, where she earned her M.A. in Fine Arts, Painting in 1995.
In 1994 she moved to Treviso, Italy (near Venice) where she got herself her first studio, a 3,5 x 3,5 m room in an abandoned factory where specially in year 1996 she produced a huge amount of very big size paintings. In December 1997 she moved to Venice for 7 years. Where besides painting at her home, a primo piano nobile Venetian Palace apartment with painted ceilings at San Marco 2569 she also started holding painting workshops in Tuscany, Provence, Puglia and Slovenia. She also got involved with art management, she worked at Slovenian Gallery and Slovenian Pavilion at The Venice Biennale – Galleria A+A, working as well in the team that organized two Venice Biennals for Republic of Slovenia.
She spent some winters in Paris at Cite' Internationale des Arts an international artist's residency, sponsored by Republic of Slovenia. On and off she spent two years in Lake Tahoe Area of the Sierra Mountains in California, until she bought a villa in the Branik village, Pre-Coastal Wine Country of Slovenia in 2004. Located only 10 min from Italian border about an hour East from Ljubljana and and hour West from Venice. In the years 2004–2010 she continued working winters at Cite International des Arts in Paris (two times sponsored by Republic of Slovenia and one time by Ministry of External Affairs of France), while one winter she spent in Morocco, studying the colors there inspired by the love that Matisse had for Marocco. During the years 1996–2011 she dedicated a lot of her time to her painting workshops mostly in Tuscany and Provence. Since the very early ages of the internet she marketed them globaly had workshop participants from about 26 countries and all 6 continents, lots of them became her collectors and art patrons. With this unconventional marketing of her work, she was able to work around the usual gallery system at the same time placing paintings into private collections on all 6 continents.
At Villa Flora her painting went into a full swing. In 2008 she was ready for a higher level of solo exhibitions that later took place in Koper, Slovenia, Singapore, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia, Kuala Lumpur, Chiang Mai and Bangkok, Thailand.
Due to her character of always being attracted by the places where the things are moving, she visited Hong Kong in 2009, Singapore and surrounding countries in 2010, where she fell in love with the explosive energy of South-East Asia as well as its beauty of landscape, climate and people.
She had three big solo museum shows: at Jamjuree Art Gallery, an Art Museum of Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok in December-Janaury 2014. At Chiang Mai Contemporary Art Museum, Thailand in November 2013, at The Substation Arts Center in Singapore in 2012.
After four years in Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand, exploring Cambodia for eight months, numerous visits to Laos, Myanmar, Bali and Singapore, she is currently spending much time creating in Kuala Lumpur and Penang (Malaysia).
Tjaša Iris is a colorist. While in her earlier work there were many landscapes and less gardens in her work of the last 10 years we see mostly gardens with lush vegetation. She dedicates most of her exhibitions to these themes. Her earlier work always had origins in Southern Europe, the Mediterranean part of Europe. She loves nothing but strong light and bright colors. Her colors came right from the tube. She is only buying most bright pigments of any brand. Her work of the last 3 years describe beautiful flowers & lush tropical gardens in bright, vivid, lush colors. Her paintings are full of a powerful unique energy. Her roots are in Expressionism, a modernist movement in Europe from the beginning of the last century. The movement's typical trait was to present the world solely from a subjective perspective, distorting it radically for emotional effect in order to evoke moods or ideas. Expressionist artists sought to express meaning or emotional experience rather than physical reality. Her work is a continuation of these concerns.
Color is the main concern in her paintings, exploring the emotional and expressive qualities. She says: "It is about how colors just come at you or move away from you." Her colors are used freely and vibrantly. The paintings vibrate with the contrasts of light and dark, bright and dull and warm and cold. She is today more than ever an avid traveler, and she captures the essence of the places she visits in vibrant sometimes more descriptive while sometimes more abstracted pictures. Gardens with lush tropical vegetation and ornaments, busy landscapes with swirling clouds, Botanic Gardens of Singapore, Thai King’s Phu Ping Palace Gardens in Chiang Mai, gardens in Bali and Kuala Lumpur, Castello di Miramare gardens in Trieste, located only about 20 km from her Slovenian residency and studio at Branik village… Through her use of color and shape she captivates the viewer with her joyful celebration of life through her art. The explosive energy of South East Asia is making her paintings even more vivid and vibrant. She is also spending much time studying physics, the new studies about what the scientists have to say about the 5th, 6th, 7th … dimension. Quantum physics. Facts about energy and matter. Spectrum of light as colors are created by light. The fact that colors have waves moving toward us or moving away from us...
Tjaša Iris is continuing in her own research in color as well as adding the atmosphere of today’s world to it. Her paintings on paper and canvass give you the feel of the flatness of a computer screen. Her large paintings on jute add another dimension to it. She is a clear representative of the Internet Generation. Her busy complex compositions reflect the busy loud information era of the fast moving time of today.
Her paintings are a dream world of happy atmospheres, strong light and uplifting lush colors.
In May 2017 she published the first shorter version of her book of photography: TJAŠA IRIS - 8 WINTERS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA - A EUROPEAN UNDER THE TROPICS, PHOTOGRAPHS 2009 - 2017. The final extended version of the book will be published end of December 2017. Her photography is very much similar to her painting. It is half way between classical photogrpahy and her painting. Iris is digitaly altering her photographs in order to achieve very bright colors and misterious atmospheres.