At the moment in the New Moment Gallery in Belgrade there is an exhibition of drawings by the artist Petar Mirković. And it is no wonder that this exhibition has aroused so much interest among the media and fans of art when you take into consideration the fact that it has been almost seven years since Petar exhibited his work in Belgrade. Even more exciting is the answer to the question “Where has he exhibited?” Well, in all of the world’s great art centres, from Vienna to Paris to Rome to London, as well as cities such as New York, Shanghai and Miami, to name but a few.
When and how did you decide to do art?
I listened to my inner self and, fortunately had support. I’m not sure when it happened, but I’m glad it did.
What contemporary artists do you admire?
There are many. I constantly come across new works and artists that impress me.
You studied sculpture, but mostly you draw. Do you think you’ll go back to sculpture?
Absolutely, and it could be for my next series of works. I find drawing and sculpture equally exciting and they constantly intertwine. When I’ve had enough of drawing I move to sculpture and vice versa.
What is the relationship between sculpture and drawing?
Both are basic medias and visual means of expression. While drawing is determined by two coordinates, sculpture is a drawing in a three-dimensional space.
Recently your solo exhibition “Moon Bar” in the New Moment Gallery in Belgrade ended. Can you tell us something more about it?
When it comes to my drawings, the last series was created over the past two years and is a continuation of my former work. The exhibition featured 11 works of charcoal on paper, this time in a slightly larger format and the creative process was more complex.
Where can your work be seen, except for your current exhibitions in Belgrade?
At the moment in Vienna and Los Angeles, and from next month in London and the art fair in Thessaloniki. Also, in various private collections and at my studio.
You share your studio with Tadija Janičić. What does your workday look like?
Although we create in the same area, we both have full autonomy. Not only does each of us have their own space in the studio, but we also work at different times of the day. Tadija during the day while I work in the evenings and at night.
Novi Sad will be the culture capital in 2021. How will this benefit artists from this town?
I think that at the moment it’s hard to say. The entire cultural scene in the town is in a mess and it can’t be changed overnight. As in any sphere, it takes years of investment to see results. Since it’s run by people in politics and not in culture, one can assume what their priority will be. My only hope is that Brussels will overlook the whole process and at least insist that the key objectives are respected.
What’s the most important lesson you learnt after graduating and would like to share with your younger colleagues?
I don’t know which is the most important, but the Academy is just the basic training and then the work actually starts. It’s the complex process of maturing, which is specific for each individual. However, it is important that you never stop learning and listening to your inner self.
What sculpture in a public space would you recommend us to see?
The time of sculpture of this type in this area has long gone. So, all that remains are monumental memorials from the Tito epoch or some of the classics, like Meštrović, Rosandić, etc. On the other hand, around the world there are amazing things. For example, this year Olafur Eliason put one of his waterfalls in Versailles. I didn’t have the chance to see myself, but it’s something I’d love to see. Also, if the desert is considered a public space, then it would be the “Burning Man” festival.
Do you follow any sites, portals or magazine dedicated to the art world?
I follow a variety of things, but mostly without any order or consistency.
What cultural event do you regularly visit?
I don’t like to combine these two concepts, culture and events. In recent years, everything is of a festive and fairground nature and presented as a cultural event, whether it’s a sausage fest, a motorbike gathering or a music festival.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m collecting material for a new series of work which will mainly consist of sculpture and will differ greatly from what I’ve done in recent years.
Do you have a favourite museum?
No, I don’t. I mostly visit museums of contemporary art, depending on the town I’m in. In our country, as we all know, the two most important museums have not been working for a decade.
What do you consider your biggest success to be?
The possibility to create, travel and be surrounded by friends.
More about his work you can find at www.petarmirkovic.com
Translation: Grainne Boyle Orlić