Painting of the Earth

A very long time ago, according to a legend, when the first humans asked the earth what it was, it replied it was nobody and nothing, but if one worked on it and took it in their hands then it was everything one wanted. In the Middle Ages, people believed that writing a book, putting letters into rows, was plowing. I’m saying this because of a concept dedicated to the earth.

We are all made of the earth on which we were born and we bear all its characteristics. The earth, as a medium, holds great power. It carries within itself the history, psychology and existentiality of a certain area. I paint that area, in which I live, in its totality. I paint it with its own means. That is why I use muck, mud, tailings… All the materials that carry the life ergonomics of that area.

When I say paint, I mean all the instruments in possession of modern art, from the most classic to the most modern experiences. The choice of materials is of crucial importance to me. They are largely those who hold the existentiality of a specific area.

The process of making the works is long. It unravels in the same way as the changing of seasons in nature or as patiently and slowly as a tree or a man grows. I watch those works as they are created. They are always a surprise, both to me and to the viewer. I try not to paint nature, but rather to paint as nature. From nature I learn the process of creation, spontaneous and surprising.

The rudimentary, the vital and insistence on the elementary make up the key conceptual framework within which my art moves. Joseph Beuys used the term pre-visual. For him, it is somethin undifferentiated and chaotic, like butter or felt, which exists within man as energy and which wants to express itself.

The earth in its natural form is the key element that weaves through nearly all my works. It is real and cannot be copied, simulated or made. Precisely in that fact lies its strength.

I have inherited the manner of expression of people from this region. It is a way of inarticulately reading the earth through the signs carved into tools and weapons. In this region, we have not had the opportunity to go through classic periods of art and to form a clear aesthetics. History did not allow it. Wars cut down entire generations, whose successors always started everything from scratch. Culture, aesthetics and the civilizational layer of experience were always short-lived and very quickly disappeared in bloody wars. The manner of expression is crude and gnarly, but very alive.

I believe that the only chance of my research work is a non-aestheticized and “uncultured” art. An art made from a life that is very cruel and strong. It shivers, it is afraid, it is gnarly, but also very vital. It carries the energy of a tree that suffers all seasons, that is never perfect and technologically correct, but is alive and beautiful.

Djordje Stanojevic