"Ilija Šobajić" award to painter Bojan Pejović: "I tried to violate the authority of the pink square very violently"

Pejović said that the award-winning collage, "Pink Sinkhole", represents the culmination of his research so far, which he conducted at the Academy and which concern "constrictions of modern Montenegrin and general space".

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Pejović in front of the awarded work, Photo: Svetlana Mandić
Pejović in front of the awarded work, Photo: Svetlana Mandić
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

A young painter from Podgorica, Bojan Pejović, is the winner of the first "Ilija Šobajić" art award, which was established by the Public Institution "Museums and Galleries" Nikšić, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the death of the progenitor of Montenegrin graphics and drawings.

Prize-winning work
Prize-winning workphoto: Svetlana Mandić

This is what the jury composed of Mirko Toljić, Ratko Odalović and Veselin Barović judged.

According to Toljić, the decision was not easy to make because several works by young artists stood out for their innovation and research spirit.

"These works have a future, and the awarded work is one of them," said Toljic.

Toljicphoto: Svetlana Mandić

Pejović, who finished painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Cetinje and enrolled in post-graduate studies in Ljubljana, said that the award-winning collage, "Pink Sinkhole", represents the culmination of his previous research conducted at the Academy and which concern "constrictions of modern Montenegrin and in general space".

"As well as the examination of the authority of the square as a form from which I could not escape. In the painting itself, I tried, very violently, to violate the authority of the main pink square, after which the painting is named, however, in the end I concluded that I did not succeed, but I only managed to affirm it. I believe that the jury noticed that this picture has a certain satire, humor and self-awareness," said Pejović, who received a plaque and a monetary sum.

He is convinced that the event will grow, because, as he said, the "Ilija Šobajić" award should remain a cultural asset of Montenegro and only go stronger, but also be a springboard for young artists.

"All of us participants in the contest have proven that we are ready to work and to respond to the contest in a short time. These are the humble beginnings of the award, which will continue in its strength," said the young artist who had his first solo exhibition last summer.

He admits that he is still in demand in the art field, but he also hopes that art lovers will be able to witness his "growth" as a painter.

"After two years in Ljubljana, I'm coming back because Montenegrin poetics is my poetics and that's how I want it to be," said the winner of the first prize, "Ilija Šobajić".

The President of the Municipality of Nikšić, Marko Kovačević, said that the importance of the Šobajić family should not be emphasized, but should be constantly renewed.

Kovacevicphoto: Svetlana Mandić

He thanked the director of JU "Museums and Galleries", Vesna Todorović, for "feeling the need to raise the memory of the character and work of Ilija Šobajić to a higher level" and for considering that it was not enough for one gallery to bear his name.

The competition for the award, whose goal is to honor Šobajić and value his work, but also for the institution to show that it "supports and helps art and artists", was intended for artists who create in Montenegro.

According to the director of the JU "Museums and Galleries", the award will permanently return Šobajić's name and the memory of his significant contribution to the Montenegrin art scene to "our cultural consciousness".

She thanked the artists for turning their attention, even for a moment, from everyday and profane things to art and the spirit of creative energy, which is healing for every society.

"Art is the greatest educator of nations and people, as Nadežda Petrović wrote in her description of an exhibition. The participants of this exhibition packed their stories and their visions of various artistically universal themes into different structures and forms," ​​said Todorović.

Todorovicphoto: Svetlana Mandić

As she pointed out, artists, using various approaches and poetics, ask questions, criticize the world we live in, point out something important.

"Understanding the fact of art, they urge us to read and understand the symbols ourselves and to sharpen our own vision. Some of these themes, due to the presence of the human in them, are interesting and strong, although opposed to each other, they managed to transcend their format or the limit of their frame, and to deeply they enter the observer's field, leaving him free to make assumptions," said Todorović.

According to her, art does not only mean a work of art, but also the ability of people to relate to it as a work of art.

"Without this, a work of art is dead, and without the aesthetic development of one's being, a person is dead. That is why exhibitions, art salons and competitions are necessary, and talented individuals must give more than what they have received. This is reflected in the law of creativity," she said. director of JU "Museums and Galleries".

She reminded that at the beginning of the year they organized an exhibition of Ilija Šobajić's works at the Petr Lubarda Legate in Belgrade, as well as that the monograph "Ilija Šobajić – between the historical and the mythical", written by the painter and curator Luka Đukanović, was recently published.

The exhibition was organized by the "Museums and Galleries" JU and the Municipality of Nikšić as part of the "September Days of Culture".

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