Artist: Slavoljub Mirkovic
* 1958 Sabac, Serbia
1977 – 1982 Studies painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade
1985 – Postgraduate degree in Belgrade
Single exhibitions: Sabac, Belgrade, Vienna, Salzburg
Participation in a number of group exhibitions
He has lived in Vienna since 1991, working as a free-lance artist
Besides painting, he also dedicates his time to graphic art, with a special focus on gravure printing
Fifteen years ago, I moved from Serbia to Vienna.
Since that time, my feelings for Serbia have mixed with nostalgia, which inspired me to give my bear a characteristic landscape from Central Serbia as an outfit.
My image shows Serbia revealing itself and its roots, returning to the country’s traditions whilst maintaining its identity. Bears in Serbia still live in unspoilt nature; however, they have become a rare and protected species. They live in the highlands, far away from settlements and their paths rarely cross with human beings.
With my landscape, I wanted to attract the bear’s attention, showing him my affection. For that purpose, I placed wicker beehives that he would be pleased to see at the entrance to the village. The beehives symbolise opulence and wealth.
From the beehives, a path leads to the village and further to the church on the mountain top, symbolising the inclination of the Serbian people to value the clergy as their most precious good.
While I was painting this landscape, I imagined the Serbian mountains with their soft shapes softly resting on the bear’s curves.
On the bear’s left, the dominating feature is a damson tree, offering its ripe fruit to the observer. The tree bends under the heavy load of sweet damsons, following the languid movements of the bear.
My country has a long-standing tradition of growing damson trees. Hence, they are not simply trees, but a symbol connecting all of us.
Sponsor: Wiener Städtische