Copyright © 2007-2019
Antoan Kurti (born in 1982) is an Albanian many-dimensional artist whose work mainly comes in photography, video and graphic design.
Kurti was born in Prishtina, Kosovo and lived between Ferizaj and Brezovica in his early life. As a teenager, he hated politics, and the only love he found that time came from the choir and paintings at the church. Even though he did not lack any skill in other fields, as he was very good in science, he was absolutely bound to study fine arts even in that time of his life. Knowing the political circumstances of the time, during his childhood, television was showing parliamentary debates every hour, and he didn't really get why his parents were watching them all the time, showing no personal interest for politics himself. As years went by, the situation in Kosovo worsened and he decided, at the age of fifteen, to leave everything in his home-country. One year later, Kurti took the opportunity on moving to Belgium and settled down in Liège.
Shortly before the new era of 21st century, in the time he moved there, he was a high school student of Computer Sciences, and as a newcomer immersed in the European culture, he first, in silence, observed the new world around him: a real and tangible Europe, lots of different from the ones he’d read, or decipher in books, magazines, or television. His classmates appeared to be his main subject of study that time. Taunting and teasing seemed to be the driving force of the teens. For not being judged, one had to be like the others, to fit into the mold. He never felt like any of them, and he was proud of that. During his secondary education, he developed a passion for CG and new technologies, and went deeper as an independent learner. Later, he started studying graphic design, and finished his studies in the field with a bachelor degree (2001-2004).
Once he had successfully completed the cursus, the problems started and risked to interrupt his European dream : his diploma wasn't homologated, and he had not a valid visa, a residence or working permit any longer. These concerns were far from people around him, so he decided to start a videography cursus by getting enrolled at the Fine Arts Academy in Liège, Belgium, and during the overall study, the subject of his work was mainly focused on identity, thus to be graduated there with a master’s degree in "Arts plastiques, visuels et de l'espace" in 2009. During these studies, he also let himself breathe and live a little. In addition, he worked and discovered the night life, and after a while he ended up believing that the night life is nothing else than a parade with its fake devices and vanities.
Currently, besides working as a video artist and a graphic designer, he also works as a freelancer for a visual effects studio for featured movies, and a video teacher in a school in Belgium. Combining these three disciplines: conceptualization, story-telling and tricking images, Kurti developed a personalized portrait photography, which is very pure, spontaneous, using mainly “natural” light, still trying to catch the moment and transmit that in his work. The mise en scene is totally absent in his work. The images, wether static or in motion, might be very tricky, based on which he has developed a bit of “allergy reaction”. Kurti has produced several works in photography, art/mixed media and those of commercial content among others, such as portraits (of artists among others) which for, the artist says that people he photographs can be proud, hide, be shy or look guilty. Their gestures, expressions, holding, the context inspire and remind him of his life... the war, the nature, the emotions... what is real and what not, who they really are.
Other photography works include Brezovica, An Abandonned Ski Center, Amstel Dam (a series of tourist pics with a compact), Lomo (a collection of portraits), A tribute to Richard Avedon, etc.
Previous works of the artist enclose several mixed artistic formats such as videos and installations: Antoan Lizene (video, 2009); Et si…? (installation, 2009); Qirproquo (photography, 2009); Lavage Public (video, 200?); Vous êtes des animaux (mixed media/installation, 2009); Untitled I (acrylic on canvas, 2008), etc.
Over the years, Antoan Kurti has ranged a variety of commercial works under the name of art collective Haris Pilton. His work from the concept in hand consists a wide artistic engagement in writing, concept managing, colour grading, camera, etc. Pilton’s input in Les Ardentes (a music festival that takes place in early July in Astrid Park, Liege, Belgium since 2006) has gained a high critically acclaimed reputation from the national media over the years, especially the 2013’s edition in which Kurti’s contribution relies on direction, camera, motion design, CG and colour grading.
Les Zaza’s, a Belgian cultural magazine, worked with Haris Pilton for one of the exhibitions when lunching an issue, where Kurti operated in camera, DOP and colour grading, whereas artists like Genevieve van der Wielen, M.A.C, etc. were involved in the project itself.
Through Haris Pilton, Kurti had the chance to work on a tremendous number of artistic products as a cameraman, DOP, in colour grading, director, photography, writer, compositing&FX, cinematographer and co-animator, in projects such as M83 – Steve McQueen (A movie clip for M83's vs. GENERO.TV contest for a Steve McQueen song, classified as a finalist video, and nominated for the Genero Awards 2012), Last summer before la fin, Customisez-moi 5 (fashion show), Fastlane Candies, etc.
Kurti’s involvement for CG and Motion Design in Mikros Image, a postproduction company, has given him the opportunity to work in several films such as Hors Les Murs (David Lambert, 2012), Fable Doméstique (Ann Sirot & Raphaël Balboni/Short, 2012), L’amour dure trois ans (directed by and starring the French writer and literary critic Frédéric Beigbeder) and When Pigs Have Wings (Sylvain Estibal, 2011).
In June 2013, on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kosovo, Kurti was announced the winner of the 1st prize in an official state competition for designing the first visa sticker of the Republic of Kosovo.
Nowadays, Antoan Kurti loves spending time in Kosovo. He also finds himself intrigued by teenagers, appearances, social status, image of the others, how photography might be tricky, and after all, not as back in the day, he’s started being interested in politics.