Hello from the gutter of my mind. An obscure depository of early memories. A deep sewer pipe from which this art flows. Making art is rough. 90ies were rough. Ugly buildings, worn out tarmac, grey cul-de-sacs. Parents are struggling in marriage, parents are struggling for money. Kicking the ball and falling head first. Quick to rage just to hide the fear. The weirdness of discovering injuries. The smell of gutter after each rain. I was just one of the many unruly kids. We fought, we played ball in the tar, the mud, the gutter. We owned it. It was our game, our glory.
We are all ugly swans, my Serbian generation. Unlike the story of an ugly duckling, ugly swans can’t hope ever to become beautiful. There’s no romantic delusion that we will transform into a graceful creature. We're forever stuck. Too many societal crises, too many jolts to a growing nervous system. We are ugly swans I know, and the acceptance of our flawed nature is the one beauty we can amount to. This is a basic beauty, one that anyone could place their trust on. By living we preach about this beauty. We, the apostles of the turning of the century - your ugly swans.
We can enter my story just before a street brawl. Ones we used to have as kids after each football match. Ugly swans are sore losers. Pick up the stones, the tarmac and puddles of mud from beneath your feet and swing at another. Man... such savagery... we were only kids. We’d later come home to our gentle grandparents knowing that we already are, and always will be different. Their ugly swans. Beautifully refined in our honest display of savagery, and already dirty and hard like our muddy playgrounds. How dare I betray my swans when painting? I’ve had unexpected leisure in later life, but could I ever aspire to be more than an ugly swan? I turn to my mind gutter for the answers. There’s no truth but the gutter.
These are abstractions meant to show how my mind gutter looks. Unpleasant, amongst other things. As a painter I’d rather simply produce images than provoke targeted thoughts or feelings. Paintings are inspired by the maelstrom of past, bad decisions, ugly memories, hard moments. These are my burden to carry. I don’t want to expose a viewer to a realistically painted, personal snapshot and s(t)imulate a fake experience, obtrude a false memory. I offer a new object to the viewer. This is a path to my personal redemption. An image by a way of abstraction slightly removed from it’s grotesque origin, as I hope I myself have done with time passed.