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2007 Galerija SKC Novi Beograd Belgrade, Serbia

2008 Dom kulture Sopot, Serbia

DEEP IN THE SOUL OF THE “MARKED ONE”


Although art entails introspection of creator’s privacy as a starting point of feelings and thoughts that lead towards creative process, there are few contemporary pieces of art that are direct testimony of the most intimate experiences, such as the work of academic ceramist Boris Bogdanovic, presented at his first independent exhibition intriguingly called – Fathers and brothers.
By using the male torso as an authentic “bearer” of the message, but also as the collective “representative” of the real person who inspired the artist, Bogdanovic intentionally “deletes” the faces of the participants in this provocative and confessional concept, not allowing the viewer to be seduced by the face, thus leading us to the spiritual where the artist takes us directly, through the chest of his ceramic mannequins. The chest as the habitat for the soul is the place filled with emotions, scars, bitterness, compressed frustration, and determination to survive personal “mark”, by being different from conservative prejudice and established prototypes that do not apply to his own personality.
In the Balkans, where robust men with unpolished manners expect and require from their sons to replicate their existence, man-artist is suspicious, insufficiently “manly” category, but as every other person requires fatherly support while growing up, both spiritually and emotionally („Alfa“) .
For the young artist, search for his spiritual father is really a search for a teacher and a role model, a man whose creative strength does not exclude manliness or heterosexuality (“Bull or...“), as well as the search for special surrogate which would replace biological parent. At the same time, even those most extraordinary persons long for fellow, brotherly souls (“Carma”), and artists, maybe more than other human beings want to be accepted and loved, because artists stay children longer than the others. Brilliant children need brilliant bothers (“3:1 for you...“) with whom they share their diversity, and these relationships tend to become competitions with many unfair “blows”. The conflict of simultaneous attraction and repulsion becomes especially complex when so called “mister perfect “(“Emotional hook”) is selected as a brother, person who claims to be, and seems to be everything that he actually is not.
Surrounded by biological and spiritual fathers, and mostly spiritual bothers, the artist uses simple but authentic means to “portray” his own soul (“Deep in the soul”). The soul is transparent and ostensibly fragile as porcelain, but is actually extremely firm and in flowering of young fern, that atavistic plant resilient to all attempts to eradicate it, willing to use its strength and vigor to “over flourish” all obstacles.
“ My soul is ancient. My soul is gentle, but unbreakable. It is immortal and indestructible”, says young artist bravely using simple means to fight (engobed stoneware and red clay from Zlakusa combined with paper porcelain and screen printing) the prejudice that crucial artistic messages require monumental dimensions, expensive material and complicated proportions. By giving succinct overview of powerful messages about importance of relationship with other men in the process of male growing up, Bogdanovic does not only analyze himself in the process of self-healing and determination to be what he is, but uses direct, fresh and powerful way to break the boundaries between applied and fine arts, demonstrating unexpected, symbolic and expressive “eloquence” of ceramics when used by talented and thoughtful artist.
The decision to use own experience of growing up and articulate it in a form of exceptional work of art for his first independent exhibition, Boris Bogdanovic defends his own right to be different by using own creative “struggle with pain and the world”, directly informing the public that his name and nature of his soul, he allowed us to access without limitations, should be well remembered.

Tamara Ognjevic,
art historian and writer