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Vojo Stanic

Robert Boyers . criticVOJO STANIC


A painter of great diversity

Vojislav Stanic was born in Podgorica, Montenegro, 1924. In his country, and ex-Yugoslavia for many years considered one of the leading painters.

Stanic is a painter of great diversity. In his early works, it looks almost like an old fashion painter, who lent colorful pile of drawing from the entire history of painting. He's been painting surrealist, with ambivalent attachment for Magritte and other eccentric painters from Bosch to Miro. He is a figurative painter who, in terms of construction and drawings, possesses the necessary skills of old masters, and is rarely satisfied with simple showing of reality. Someone could call him a primitive painter, prone to capricious or touching depictions of ordinary life ordinary people of a small town in which he lives and his environment. Although Stanic painting is nothing even resembling a linear or predictable narrative, though at some moments you can see hints apparently familiar and traditional landscapes. People are caught up in the moment when play games, watch television, in various poses in recreation, in prayer or in joy. Lovers at a glance, see or watch through the open windows, in parks, and often on the edge of a larger scenes or public events. Spirit of images are characterized by optimism, even cheerfulness. Latent dark or serious stuff are shown as incidental, as something temporary nightmare, but it has to be through.

Ever-present element of awesomeness complicates Stanic's representations of ordinary things. Above famous street in the summer time, a man quietly passes over the rope, casually strung between two buildings. People who are walking along the sidewalk and main street encounter passer with masks or carry paintings. A naked woman standing on one finger, hovering above the car. A man in working military clothing with hood with slits for eyes in your head is the dominant figure in the alleged art galleries, so one gets the impression that a few rooms that exist in the gallery could be torture chambers.

In these various paintings intertwined terrestrial and slightly fantastic, as if there is no category of differences which separates them. It is amazing just as much a part of the common universe, as the figure of an old man sleeping in his chair, while a cup of coffee quietly hovering over him. Symbolic objects possess power unimportant things, and even some ephemeral detail - an empty box, a stray piece of clothing, or a street lamp - can be decorated by miraculous.

In fact, Stanic is equally close to ordinary, as to wondrous things, so that during the war in Bosnia eruption of political topics in his works, was at the same time exceptional and frightening. Of course it should not be strange that a Yugoslav artist (even though, since it lives in Montenegro, avoid the fighting and bloodshed in Sarajevo, Srebrenica and Kosovo) finally felt that the politics, no matter how much he does not want, entered in his life, and therefore, inevitably, in his works. However, when in the nineties in his country started the war, Stanic already had almost 70 years. Until then, he lived in a relatively quiet time of communist Yugoslavia, practically all of their mature life, and if he would be aware that always and everywhere exists a politics, he also must have been aware that his country's peace is precious uncertain gift, but the desire to play and pleasure was only possible because it is a constant struggle for power in his society, thankfully, mostly been kept out of public view. When the hostilities in Bosnia raged, and when the threat of violence was grow up, even in a relatively remote area of ​​Montenegro, it has become inevitable, Stanic felt - as we assume from his paintings - that his actions in some way will record what happens.

Surprisingly, many works which Stanic made in 90's do not give the expected signs of fear and struggle. It seems that Stanic countered clearance to the impulse and sense of responsibility of painting scenes of war and use his works for the purpose of militant expressions of solidarity with the victims of terror. Where would let politics interfere in his work, he obviously did reluctantly, wary and indirectly. He watched the terrible scene that takes place in front of him, with the naive eyes of man who is faced with something that does not fully understand, something terrible, perhaps threatening, but something that should not be seen at close range, it would not look bigger than it is, at least not in the long term. There is something exciting humane and modest in relation to the scope and treatment of political interference in Stanic's works. As frightening look its literal mark, political in Stanic's works, even with the uniform and gun, is only recognizable part of the human landscape, with characters who refuse to be completely subordinated to the violent and inhuman.