Sunday, March 30, 2008


The name of the work in Croatian is nafta which I prefer in its resonance, but, since that name has been internationally associated with a trading organization, I had no choice but to refer to the recently resurrected title of Upton Sinclair’s Oil!. Despite the risk of being depicted as zeitgeist or trendy, I have decided to adopt the name after all. Nevertheless, what I have attempted to do with it was to simulate or to stage a situation of a personal catastrophe. I imagined a character experiencing an emotional breakdown. It seems that my work is more often than not driven by a desire or a need to pin down various emotions, to visualize them, lacking an adequate verbal construction. Interestingly enough, my personal taste has been very closely connected to melancholy, be it in visual matters, music, or anything else. I have experienced it as a very potent drive, beautiful at the same time, and I think certain injustice has been done by attaching it to the Dürer’s image as its most famous icon. In order to depict that feeling of loss, I somehow felt that, if I could drown the image in melancholy, I would obtain that visualization of sadness - call it a Plot Player’s personal disaster, right! Melancholy feeds on beauty, hence the setting is not some dark & gloomy corner. That could lead to banality. The most interesting solution of all offered itself in the form of an ecological allegory. According to many, my work has been many things at once so far, but it has hardly ever been activist. My intention has never been to point a finger at the wrongs of the World, when there is a Universe of wrongs within me that I find so fascinating. So the key premise was found in travesty of one’s glorification of personal disasters to the range of global ecological/enviromental issues.

All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone

This one is called All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone and it borrowed its title, as you may or may not know, from the same album title of Texan band Explosions in the Sky. Other than reverence towards their music, it seemed fit at one point. At the time I was feeling morose, detached from all things. This usually happens when one of the two important things of my life are in jeopardy, love-life and work-life. It happened so they were both on the line then. And though I tried to separate the two as a subject for this painting, I still can't decide which one is more dominant. And how it all resulted with this image? As my life is largely influenced by the professional struggle of keeping up with exhibitions, shows, studio work practice and so on, I figured just how much I was oppressed by that same notion. The thought that dwelled in my mind then, and it dwells still, was the role of the institutions (mainly galleries and museums), housing the works, introducing the selected works into the art world. As I mentioned, this related to the issues of power, how it is used, by whom, and in whose favour. Further research led me to essey by Mieke Bal in which she thoroughly explores the role of the museum as it has been shaped in recent modern history. She takes the example of New York Met, as a house where almost everything that should be regarded as an important piece of art, can be found. Then she contrasted it to the Ethnographic museum. At that point I decided that the setting for the scene should be placed inside a natural history museum. All dead creatures, not a glance of life coming through, call me lame, but it seemed as a good message concerning the establishment all around. I also decided I should place myself within the scene because essentially the whole thing was about me in a way. Concerning my personal life, it is disreputable and a matter of bad taste to discuss these things in detail. What I can say is that for given work I positioned myself as someone being left behind by the loved one. It was important to me to generate an image of a notion so well known to most of us. That certain point when one has to lift himself up, above the damaged life, and find some strength to carry on. In order to get this idea through, I intended to place several figures, all having my form and image, and placed them in order to simulate dialogs between them (  , ). My suggestion was to amplify the fact of no one being around but yourself really. Eventually this idea fell off. I settled with one figure in the end, somehow feeling that alone is alone no matter how you look at it. Surrounding that initially came out of the previously mentioned discourse was now witnessing a completely different idea. Skeletons and the formaldehyde feel were messengers of bad news, reminding me of the constant duality embedded in this image.