We would like to introduce the artist Dejan Živković from Novi Sad, who describes himself as being a self-taught person. After studying design, he tried to find a way to express himself in painting. His latest series of works “Impressions from the Vibrant Jaws of the Shrew” was exhibited in Cultural Centre “Grad” in Belgrade in May, as well as in Novi Sad and Pančevo.
In the text below Dejan tell us the story of his artistic development and creativity.
When did you decide that you do painting?
– I started painting because I was revolted by the general circumstances in a society with an unclear system of values which offered me no glowing perspectives. Realizing the absurdity of choices and the fact that I was left to my own devices, the idea and decision emerged that I could seriously take up such a “frivolous” and quixotic profession. I’ve always drawn anyway.
When did you do your first picture?
– When I was 28. However, as I wasn’t satisfied with the results, many of the works from this period I’ve destroyed. The process of artistic authenticity is not easy for me. I was trying to find myself in all of this. I’m still trying to find myself today – experimenting, perfecting and harmonising with my temperament …
From contemporary Serbian artists, whose work do you like best?
– I wouldn’t pick anyone out. There is plenty of creative potential and exceptional authors, but also systemic negligence and even the obstruction to express in their full strength.
If you were the Minister of Culture, what would be your first move?
– No minister can drastically change the long-term role of culture and the position of the artist. We’ll have to wait until we develop into a society that will clearly articulate its needs and uncompromisingly stand behind them.
What was the last book you read?
– A comic called “Bog” by Boris Stanić.
Can you recommend a movie about art?
– I would rather recommend an exciting story about a passionate collector – a film called “The Best Offer”, directed by Giuseppe Tornatore.
What sculpture in a public space would you recommend that we see?
– I would like to see the international “Land Art Festival” at Fruška Gora.
Where was your last exhibition?
– Immediately after my exhibition in the large gallery at the Cultural Centre “Grad” in Belgrade and the Forum of Youth in Novi Sad, my last solo exhibition was held at the Gallery of Contemporary Art, at the Cultural Centre in Pančevo.
Can you tell us a little more about it?
– There was a competition and I applied to exhibit a series of images and digital drawings from a cycle entitled “Impressions of the Glittering Jaws of the Shrew” which I had been working on for the previous two years. In this work I involved irony, absurdity and grotesque humour and confronted some of the contemporary phenomenon dealing with problems such as consumerism, conformity, religious indoctrination, pollution, the extinction of species, social inertia, and so on.
How are you informed about current art events?
– Seecult, Designed, Facebook, …
What is the most important cultural event held in Novi Sad?
– The baby “Exit”? However, definitely, Cinema City – movies, concerts and exhibitions in the unique ambience of Chinatown.
What do you associate with “Pokemon”?
– Cheap entertainment in a slave society.
Do you have a favourite work?
– Only a few successful details of which I could compile some kind of not very appealing Frankenstein. Absolute satisfaction with any work would mean that I’ve finished with further research and advancement.
What kind of art do you like?
– Distinctive, provocative, a little crazy, authentic, ideologically direct and clear.
What are you currently working on?
– I try to do less and think more. People today don’t pay much attention to the point. I mainly deal with the concept in which direction my art and narrative should go in order to enable an ambitious image in a monumental format quite different to the ones that I’ve ever done.
In your opinion, what is the biggest difference between design and art?
– Freedom of expression.
Where can we see your work?
– On the page http://zivkovitchart.weebly.com/