M.K. Hajdin (pronounced like Haydn) is a Croatian contemporary artist.
Hajdin grew up in the United States, the daughter of a Scottish mother and a Croatian father. She began drawing, painting and sculpting at the age of 12, but received little encouragement from family. “They wanted me to do something high-status that would make a lot of money, like a doctor or a lawyer. They were sure that nobody could make a living as an artist.” As the first member of the family to become an artist, she was determined to prove them wrong.
It was her dream to go to art school. When that wish came true, however, she found that art school didn’t liberate her talents in the way that she hoped. After a time, she decided to forego the traditional art-school route and study art independently.
Hajdin, a feminist, chose abstraction partly because “abstraction doesn’t exploit women’s bodies, something that happens too often in more realistic types of art.” She feels that in a world where women are inappropriately sexualized, nudity can never be neutral.
She also chose abstraction because “color should be liberated from the tyranny of form.”
She developed her technique “by exploring, by trial and error”. She favors knife painting over brushes. “With a knife, you can build up and scrape down paint. It’s very textural. Really, I’m a frustrated sculptor.”
Hajdin says that her main influences are Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, Lee Krasner and Helen Frankenthaler.
“I love Frankenthaler’s flow and her color schemes,” she says. “I love Krasner’s energetic brushwork and Rothko’s stillness.
“I love Clyfford Still’s attitude. Like, the hell with everybody!”
When she is not doing art, Hajdin enjoys long walks, gardening (“I just have some window boxes on the balcony”) and looking at pictures of cats on the internet. She lives in a small farmhouse near Zagreb.
As an artist, her mission is “to bring color and life to blank walls.”