It is always interesting to see through the eyes of Stanić

There is a moment of a certain scenography, the element of the game is manifested. Absurd games of the inhabitants of a fictional city, in which the mysterious, but wise and cunning puppeteer is the artist himself

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"Gifted colorist", Photo: MutualArt
"Gifted colorist", Photo: MutualArt
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

Sometimes it seems as if the story harms the painting, and that it has its own mission. However, the entire history of art refutes such an opinion with its examples. Creativity also belongs to those examples, without a doubt Voj Stanić, a maestro from Montenegro, a master of fantastic and captivating scenes. Through the window of the studio, which is located in his house in Herceg Novi, there is a wonderful view of the waterfront and the sea. Next to the window is a view, through which you can observe the distant endless spaces. The nearby and the distant merge into one unique image.

All the walls in this house are covered with pictures of the host. Stanić devotedly continues his work, creating unique "stories", a kind of "narrative" of an epic nature. Despite the fact that the dimensions of his paintings are, for the most part, relatively small. But the thing is not in their dimensions. Plunging into Stanić's world, you forget about everything.

It's so interesting, so seductive.

Looking at Stanić's paintings, you realize that he has one city, a city with suburbs. A provincial city, but not quiet, a city that is not dormant, but very alive. And fun. The city, which cannot be found on the map, because it was created by the power of Voj Stanić's fantasy. He exists in his own way, but in which fictional space, it is hard to say. Now it shrinks, now it increases, and it seems to have no permanent foothold on earth, but travels with its inhabitants and their guests, mostly along the sea-coast. Although it is sometimes obvious that there is also an association with certain buildings and archaeological monuments. There are also reminiscences of the landscapes of Belgrade and Rome, which, although they exist separately, still enter into one conditional artistic-geographical concept, into the world of Stanić. Observations about the city, where the maestro still lives today, are organically combined here.

It is noticed that this realistic-fictional city usually gravitates towards the sea (the artist himself lives by the sea). From its streets and waterfront, distant islands can be seen, there are ships in the bays, some are fishing. There are beaches and swimming pools, and a person reading a newspaper, sitting in a room, may not even notice that the sea itself has come as a guest, pouring into the room through the open door. The sea is present, but it is not the main character of the picture, because, of course, it is not a thing in marinas.

There is no winter, the weather is always beautiful. Only one winter landscape comes to mind in Stanić's work, and it is also related to childhood memories. So, we repeat, the weather is beautiful. The artist likes the image of a southern city, when the weather does not change the mood, which is miraculously flat here, and there are only morning, day, evening and night. The calendar is not important here, but the change of day and night. The large cyclical turnover was reduced to 24 hours. Although the grandiosity of God's idea is felt even in such a relatively chronologically small section: repetition is a characteristic component of Eternity, and despite that, there is no monotony, so there is none.

Here's the thing: every minute of Existence gives uniqueness to the unusual life of the inhabitants of the city and its surroundings. The residents there experience a wide variety of experiences, which form the main content of the maestro's paintings. Most often during the day. Then you can see better, and there is something to look at here.

The city is surreal, absurd, although in its own way it is dear, orderly and attractive. It is difficult to say whether it would be appropriate to live there, it can be quite a dangerous profession. But it is always interesting to look through Stanić's eyes.

It seemed to many that surrealism had long been a part of the past, but that is not the case. It may no longer exist like the school that was formed in the 20s, but the tradition is alive, the characters are immortal, and the ideas are still enticing. It is indicative that the artist was born in 19, when it was created The first manifesto of surrealism. It is symbolic that the date of birth coincides with an important date in the world history of art. The cunning of history lies in the fact that, gambling with our marked cards, opening strange solitaires, we fall in love with all sorts of mysterious coincidences at first glance, and then spend our whole lives thinking why it turned out that way. It is obvious that there are no coincidences. Not in life, not in art.

Everything is predestined.

In every conspiracy, a higher idea is looming...

Speaking of the surreality of a small town by the sea, one should not lose sight of the various entertaining events whose actors are local residents, whose physical and moral strength is tested by fate. It should be kept in mind that in the artist's paintings there are many, both covert and open allusions to the works of artists such as George de Chirico, Carl Carre, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Marcel Duchamp, René Magritte, Paul Delvaux, Baltus and others, who founded the new fantastic art of the 20th century, the art of dreams, hallucinations and the absurd. An experiment, after all. The collision of the eternal (the sea) and the transient (human actions).

Stanić defined a lot by setting his theater of the absurd on the stage of an imaginary provincial town by the sea. Just like his teachers, artists of the fantastic, according to whose creativity he was guided to a certain extent, when he decided to leave sculpting, the profession for which he was educated, and turned to painting, the maestro uses a number of methods, characteristic of artists, in whose order we include him. If Stanić had a good professional preparation as a sculptor, he studied painting independently. Maybe that's why he became so free, original and independent.

The history of painting offers us a large number of examples of the creativity of a number of great painters, who did not acquire their artistic skills in the studios of celebrated masters, with a careful attitude towards the surrounding world and towards those examples of art that were closer to them in spirit. Their "school" is in independent assessment of what is seen, in a personal approach to the history of art. That, as a rule, means a lot...

His knowledge of medieval art is also important. Stanić's coloring is frescoed in its own way. The colors are local, but not colorful. The image always has a common color scheme. She is, among other things, beautiful... She tempts with her naivety, but with a suffered, experienced, thought-out one. There is strength in it, the soul flows through it. It should be emphasized that the maestro is a gifted colorist. His handwriting is recognizable. Extremely individualistic.

This kind of painting is deliberately not textural, because this is not about the beauty of applying brushstrokes to the canvas. On the contrary, the painting is smooth, because it is very important to allow the viewer to notice more carefully what is happening, and every carefully thought-out detail is important here. Any hallucination is exciting when it resembles reality. Dreams are scarier the more true they are and the more they resemble life. This is how Dali and Magritte wrote. This is what those who appreciate the idea of ​​an obsessive illusion of the invented, which resembles the truth, in which the invented and the seen merge into one, write like this. Into something enchanting, magical, convincing.

The beauty of the coating could distract attention from the essence, from trying to penetrate the secrets of the world, so real, and so absurd. In addition, the flat textures give the feeling of something not made by hand, the feeling of a mirror that is directed to the world beyond the mirror.

Attention should be paid to the specific development of the image space, to the intrusive perspective, of a certain metaphysical character, to the master's interest in combining all forms, which, as in Boša or Eastern painters form a certain unique compositional whole from a multitude of fragments.

Finally, when city panoramas are not shown, but the action takes place in interiors, it is noticeable how important the motif of open doors and windows is, how often the motif of moving from one room to another is used. Like an experienced theater director, Stanić sets up the decorations he needs, in which he stages his plays. Here there is a moment of a certain scenography, the element of the game is manifested. Absurd games of the inhabitants of a fictional city, in which the mysterious, but wise and cunning puppeteer is the artist himself.

If he does not shorten the distances to the objects of his painting, the master likes to look a little from above, almost alienated. With the sharp gaze of a free bird, flying high, the artist notices everything that is interesting and unexpected. In fact, he is an observer. And the viewer becomes that while following him.

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