This archive is consisted of old works and misfits, paintings who do not have a consistent series. Old and experimental work that that didn’t catch on long enough to make a consistent series. These works paved the way from my student days to recent visual explorations.
This work is a virtual reality landscape made in collaboration with the Swiss/Serbian artist Anuk Jovović during an art residency in Tokyo. It is a collage of video material, photographs and drawings / animation.
While interacting with the community, practicing Budō in local Dōjōs and the research on contemporary and traditional Japanese culture, art and mythology, the material was carefully gathered.
Creating a virtual reality landscape is somewhat like painting a three-dimensional mandala.
Circular layers that build a virtual landscape make an interesting parallel to the concentrical circles of a mandala, that draws us towards its center.
The difference is that in a mandala we look inwards to the center, in order to find the Self.
In a virtual reality setting, an artificial 360 degree mandala, we look outwards, being already placed in a virtual Self.
Another analogy found between the VR goggles (mask) and Kendo fighting mask (“Men”) was how the reality of the unusually polite and gentle-natured Japanese men changed at the very moment they would look at the world through the warrior mask.
“The Mother Ship” series is characterized by the reappearance of black flower-like shapes and grey machines with tentacles superposing a brown expressively painted organic surface.
While working on the first painting from this group, called “The Mother”, I went through the full path of a creation of a concept: unconscious - associative - conscious - rationally conceptualized. “The Mother” was charged with so many layers of meaning that it naturally became a Matron of a new body of work. After “The Mother” I never again had to go through the full path of creation. Paintings that came later can be seen as the imprint of the original continued onto many canvases. They reveal the multitude of Mothers “faces”.
Free from the contemporary image of what an art piece should look or feel like, or what message and moral it should stand behind, I tried to strip my paintings “bare” of the contemporary dogma, of popular subject-matter choices and that part of my ego that demands to be liked or accepted through art.
I started working expressively on these canvases to alleviate myself from anger and insecurity. This everyday feeling of unease is provoked by the media input: “what our life and art should look like?” Artist’s temptation lies in the fact that art demands both, independency and belonging. We can try to stay inert to popular expectations or contemporary clichés.
My impression is that manipulative constructs of our society are temporary and can be ignored.
My paintings are made by using by-products of already existing abstractions.
The production process of these paintings can be seen as entering the so-called “gardens of manouche”1. Namely, if we take two symmetrical geometrical objects in blue and red which are then consciously visually manipulated through optimization of our eye focus, they give the illusion of a third, objectively inexistent geometrical form which derives from the area of the psyche: we enter the so-called “gardens of manouche”.
This is where the analogy with the optical game of entering the “gardens of manouche” comes in.
I draw an ornamental scheme on the canvas which I then use as geometrical stimuli, from the aforementioned experiment, to open the “gates” of my own psyche and project a new material onto the canvas. The methodical mechanism of painting in this way comes into being as an answer to the “elusive Self”.
My psyche is the origin of the first abstract ornamental scheme. Many colleagues use already existing “realistic” images or forms as templates to get in contact with their unconscious. My approach is to ‘take one step back’. I start from the inner content, create an image out of it so I could ‘bounce back’ into the unconscious. This travel in and out is my modus operandi.
1 An experiment in perception psychology. As seen in: “Laws of Faith”, by Rüdiger Dahlke
In 2019, this painting was chosen for the design of the Dina Card Start payment card by Komercijalna Banka.
We lack the original meaning that enables the understanding of the tapestries. Interpretations of the content were definitely changing with time, as was the similar case with Slavic, Pagan divinities, described in Sreten Petrović’s theory on the revival of the old faith in medieval times. (excerpt from “Zjale”)
I can relate almost everything to my childhood memories of old tapestries: concepts of life, death and beauty; feelings of mystery, fear and joy. (excerpt from “Zjale”)
The composition of visual elements within the old tapestries might suggest that we are witnessing an event, ritual, probably a story. Every story follows a certain system. Repetition shows temporality, variations show the development of events, spatial positioning of a certain motif perhaps implies to the importance of a particular event within the narrative.
Different logic, but a system nonetheless, positions biblical stories shown on the frescos inside Orthodox monasteries. (excerpt from “Zjale”)
Visual structure of these paintings borrows ornaments from Serbian traditional tapestry, which is an evolutionary stage of oriental tapestry. My childhood memories are filled with woven ornaments. (excerpt from “Zjale”)
These paintings are a product of expression that refers to nothing but itself, free of storytelling and therefore, free of misinterpretation. In my work the surface of canvas is painted, it is given material and color. There is little space within the image, it is clearly two-dimensional. The canvas and the painted color together become a skin or the clothing of a wooden stretcher and consequently an object. It is an aesthetic object, predicted to be put in the human living space and to be perceived at an intellectual and emotional level.