INTERVIEW Bojan Krljić: Tošković was a visionary whose work will survive time

The author of the most extensive publication dedicated to Uroš Tošković, Bojan Krljić, presents for "Vijesti" a recently published book and a story about the great artist who died five years ago yesterday.

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Bojan Krljić, Photo: Private archive
Bojan Krljić, Photo: Private archive
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

URoš Tosković is not sufficiently recognized either in Montenegro or in the region, he points out in an interview for "Vijesti" Bojan Krljic, author, editor-in-chief and editor of a voluminous and luxurious publication dedicated to one of the greatest cartoonists and the most authentic artistic phenomena of the last century.

The book, called short and clear "Tochkowitch", was published by the Gallery of the graphic collective from Belgrade, and Krljić says that he hopes that it will contribute to changing the situation regarding the preservation and respect of the image and work of Uroš Tošković, who died on the third of March 2019. . years.

"In order for his importance to be recognized more widely, it is necessary for cultural institutions to engage in the promotion of his work outside the borders of our territories", specifically instructs Krljić who, as a great and passionate collector of Uroš's works, realized a particularly significant project in his honor.

The famous Tošković, authentic, consistent, rich and brave, lived art with his own spirit and being. It was considered too expensive for Picasso, direct and clear, witty and spontaneous, during his stormy and rich life he became a legend. With his death, five years ago, he became a kind of myth, artistic, human, peculiar, genius.

"A painter among painters, a draftsman among draftsmen, Uroš Tošković did not hope for anything in this world. His drawings were priceless. He preferred to starve rather than flatter and trade. He preferred to throw it away rather than desecrate it by selling it. He would rather burn them than make any kind of concession on them so that someone would like them... Bojan Krljić is the most deserving that Uroš Tošković experienced posthumous glory in this world, and he only hoped for it in the next," he wrote, among other things, in the preface books Matija Bećković.

Uroš Tošković promo
photo: Promo

Krljić does not hide his enthusiasm for the author from Pelevo Brije, who on his journey through Cetinje, Herceg Novi, Belgrade, France, America gained the respect and fame of the world public and entered his "Tochkowitch" into the very top of art.

The 450-page book contains 386 drawings from Krljić's collection, texts by 16 recognized art critics and cultural workers, there is also hitherto unpublished documentary material, Tošković's writings and poems, selected segments of some interviews, as well as a detailed biography, many photos, posters, and letters. , testimonies...

Among the authors of the texts in the book are prominent names of domestic and international art criticism, and Krljić points out that he collaborated with a large number of people close to Tošković, as well as with members of his family.

Krljić was born in 1978 in Belgrade. He graduated from the Gymnasium in Inđija and graduated from the Higher School of Fine and Applied Arts in Belgrade. He is engaged in painting, drawing and poetry, works as an art teacher in elementary schools in Inđija and Beška. Since 2001, he has been exhibiting his works at individual and collective exhibitions. He is also known for his collection of works by Uroš Tošković, which currently includes more than 400 works, and at one time he also organized exhibitions.

The book dedicated to the great artist Uroš Tošković, whose author you are, was recently published. What does the book cover and do you have any expectations?

This book represents the most comprehensive publication so far dedicated to Uroš Tošković, one of the greatest cartoonists of the 20th century. It contains texts by 16 eminent domestic and foreign authors from the world of art history and culture, rich photo and documentary material, a catalog with almost 400 drawings by Tošković, his notes from notebooks, poems, the most interesting parts of interviews, as well as the most extensive biography of this artist. My expectations are that this publication will enable people to create a more complete picture of the life and work of Uroš Tošković.

photo: Promo

How intimate and interesting are his writings that you included in the book? What can the reader learn about him from this?

The inclusion of Tošković's author's notes and songs in the book is a valuable addition that enables a more intimate insight into the artist's personality. Through these records, one can better understand Tošković's inner world, his thoughts, emotions and motives that drove him. These intimate confessions contribute to the creation of a more complete portrait of this extraordinary artist.

Given that yesterday was five years since Tošković's death, how do you view that period?

Looking at the period of five years since Uroš Tošković's death, I can say that some positive things have been done to preserve and promote his legacy, but that is certainly not enough to valorize his creativity. Various projects, including the book I prepared, contribute to presenting Tošković's art to a wider audience. It is important to continue with the promotion of Tošković's work, so that its importance is recognized as much as possible.

How was the entire process of working on it, considering that it is the most extensive edition dedicated to this artist so far?

The process of working on the book was long and demanding. Parallel to collecting drawings and documentary material, I collaborated with people who knew Tošković, his family, friends, art historians, photographers, writers and journalists. Through this process, I was able to obtain valuable information and materials that enriched this publication.

Detail from the book
Detail from the bookphoto: Promo

Would you single out something or someone that was of particular importance to you, while working on the book?

During the work on the book, I would especially single out my friend and expert advisor, the fine artist Nikola Košević. Thanks to him, more than 25 years ago I encountered Tošković's work for the first time, which awakened my interest in his art. Support, advice and expertise Nicholas Koševića they were of great importance during the entire process of creating the book.

Who is the book intended for and how much can be learned through it about the personality, character, but also the work and creativity of Uroš Tošković?

This book is intended for everyone who is interested in the character and work of Uroš Tošković, as well as in the history of art in general. Through it, one can learn a lot about the characteristics, character, work and creativity of this great artist. The book contains an abundance of documentary and visual material that has not been available to the public until now, as well as the most extensive biography.

What guided you during your work, were you guided by any special motive and what were the challenges?

The motivation for working on this book was a deep respect for the work of Uroš Tošković, as well as the desire to recognize his genius and importance in the right way. The challenges were many, including finding the best drawings for the collection, gathering information about his life, and overcoming technical and material obstacles during the creation of the book.

Tosković's work "The Pit"
Tosković's work "The Pit"photo: Promo

Given that you have a rich collection of works by Uroš Tošković, what can you say about him as an artist, but also about his life?

Uroš Tošković was an undeniably exceptional artist whose work reflects deep strength, sincerity and immediacy. His drawings are more than just a portrait of reality; they are a mirror of his inner struggle, emotions and the world that surrounded him. The hardships he experienced during the war had a profound impact on his creativity. His art is an intimate confession.

What makes Tošković special is not only his exceptional talent, but also his unwavering dedication to art. He was an artist who lived and breathed for his calling, not caring about material things or social conventions. Tošković's passion for art was inexhaustible, and his works remain a testament to his vision and strength of spirit. He was not only a fine artist; he was a visionary whose work will survive time and continue to inspire generations of artists.

In your opinion, does Uroš Tošković have adequate recognition in Montenegro, but also in the region, taking into account his importance on the world art scene?

I think that Tošković is not recognized enough neither in Montenegro nor in the region, and I hope that this book will contribute to changing that situation. In order for his importance to be recognized more widely, it is necessary for cultural institutions to engage in the promotion of his work beyond the borders of our territories.

Uroš Tošković promo
photo: Promo

The book also includes his songs, records, but also interviews and reviews of his work. What do you think can be particularly interesting for people from the art sphere, and what about readers who are admirers of his work, and then also those who have yet to get to know him? How much can we learn about him personally through the book?

This additional material in the book provides an insight into the personality and thoughts of Uroš Tošković, as well as into the context in which he created. It can be of particular interest to artists, as well as to a wider audience that wants to get to know this great artist more deeply. Through the book, one can learn a lot about his personal life and attitudes.

How did the entire work and process of creating this book affect you and what prompted you to do so? After all that, how do you perceive Tošković?

Working on this book was challenging, but at the same time inspiring. Getting to know the life and work of Uroš Tošković deepened my respect for him as an artist. I see him as an extremely important figure in the world of fine arts, whose contribution must be recognized and valorized.

Tošković is one of the key figures in the history of fine arts

What is your personal relationship with Tošković as an artist, or what was that mutual relationship before, during his lifetime?

I have great respect and admiration for Tošković as an artist. Although I did not know him personally, his work leaves a strong impression on me. While working on the book, I felt privileged to have the opportunity to explore more deeply and present his art to a wider audience. I believe that Tošković is one of the key figures in the history of fine art and that his art had a strong influence on post-war figuration painters.

Tošković's works in the book
Tošković's works in the bookphoto: Promo

Focused on the promotion of the book and the exhibition he is preparing

Where can I get the book and when can I expect promotions?

The book is available at the Grafički kolektiv gallery in Belgrade, which is also the publisher. The promotion is planned in the mentioned gallery during the spring of this year, and I hope that there will be opportunities for promotions in Montenegro as well as in other cities of the region.

Are you already thinking about a new, upcoming venture and what are your plans for the future?

I am currently focused on promoting this book and preparing an exhibition of Tošković's drawings from my collection. After that, I'll see what the next steps and projects I could work on are.

I want to thank everyone who contributed to the creation of this book and I hope that it will contribute to spreading awareness of the importance of Uroš Tošković as an artist.

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