Ivan Mikolji

Ivan MikoljiIvan MikoljiIvan Mikolji
 
Ivan Mikolji is a field explorer and investigator of Venezuelan wildlife specializing in painting, photographing and videoing of rare and hard-to-find fish. He is the co-founder and President of the Fish from Venezuela Foundation (Fundacion Peces de Venezuela).
 
He also produces documentaries on wild tropical fish in their natural habitats which have the objective of spreading the knowledge to the general public, with the notion that you cannot preserve something that you don’t know exists.
 
He is now active in the preservation of continental freshwater bodies of water, including all species of aquatic flora and fauna, trying to educate the people on how to have a minimum impact on their environment.
 

 

Artist Profile

“My images are more than cool nature photography; they are the link between science and art”

It was about midnight when he found himself deep in the Amazon Rainforest. As he floated down the Atabapo River and stared up at the starry night sky, Ivan Mikolji suddenly understood how he could fuse all of his passions together. “I have science in my brain and art in my heart,” Mikolji said. Since that night on the river, he has dedicated his life to combining science and art in the storytelling of the continental freshwater ecosystem with his photography.

Mikolji’s greatest passion is creating environmental artwork in the wild. He lives and works in Venezuela, which, he said, is the perfect location to further his work of photographing hard-to-find fish. “This network of freshwater lakes, rivers, swamps and streams house a vast array of new unidentified biotic resources, making them so interesting to explore,” he said. One of the highlights of his career was hearing that a new fish he found in the Tinaco River was going to be named after him: Trichomycterus mikolji.

Mikolji also creates documentaries and has a strong Internet following with more than 16,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel. “They are always asking when my new adventures will be uploaded,” he said. His photos have appeared on the front covers of books and in magazines, and his videos have been broadcasted multiple times on National Geographic and the Discovery Chanel.

Before he began capturing with a camera, Mikolji created with a paintbrush. He sold his first piece at the age of 15. One of his future ambitions is to create a line of abstract works from his photos. “I love painting,” he said. “It would be like going back to my roots.” All proceeds from his art sales are used to perform scientific research with the objective of bringing awareness to the aquatic species thought his work. “You cannot preserve something that you don’t know exists,” he said.

 
 
Ivan Mikolji
From left to right: Uwe Werner, Ivan Mikolji, and Ad Konings at the Scandinavia Cichlid Organization meeting 2012
 

Ivan Mikolji
If you want to know where I bought that $3 hat watch the video below @ 5:28
 

 


Here I am with the Jivi indigenous tribe in the Venezuelan Amazon. My great friend Alipio is in the far right.

 


This is the first time that I appear "in person" on the front cover of a book. Humedales de la Orinoquia Colombia Venezuela.

 


The Black Tailed Tetra, Hemigrammus levis, are always starving in the wild. Image taken underwater in the Venezuelan Amazon after shooting my famous DSC09983 image.