Vladimir Veličović, an artist of notable seniority, who has played a leading role since the 1950s, in the Narrative Figuration art movement and is currently a member of the Institut de France and the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts.
Inspired in his genesis by drawing and painting Flemish primitive artists, then by Italian Renaissance through Byzantine icons, Vladimir Veličković shows us the path of uncompromising artistic research-based practice. On one hand; the trauma of war–on the other hand; through studying more than 5 decades of his work we can understand the importance of our own actions as individuals.
Behind the presence in the foreground of birds with black silhouettes and characters with torn, bare bodies, the viewer is compelled to immerse oneself into the smooth landscape, a distant calm, as to avoid confr ontation with the impending violence.
The exhibition гавран which means 'raven' in Serbian language, thus unveils a selection of works by the artist, illustrating the importance of the memory.
Memory is yet a story to be told. It is vital for the human experience and future existence. Memory; the act of retaining, encoding and processing information is the influence to action!
In front of the scenes punctuated by the omnipresence of the ravens in flight or on the lookout, Vladimir Veličković invites us to question human nature in its history. The artist takes on the impossibilities of violence and reality. Humanity has created atrocities and yet we are faced with a grief that we shy away from.
In the mind of the artist and the collective consciousness, the raven symbolises a scavenger who, without any distinction, feeds on everything for its own survival. In its turmoil, this relationship with the sharp-billed bird and the scenes of destruction, aims in a way to maintain an active state of emotion, ending the need for survival. His universe highlights the eternal tragedy of human behavior in relation to humanity, the incessant dialogue enhanced by violence and aggression.
Although in the Serbian Epic Poems, of which several traditional stories speak of ravens as messengers in the bloody aftermath of a battle. The raven is not only to be felt here in it's primitive vision as the harbinger of death. On the contrary endowed with the greatest intelligence, the raven is like the witness and the actor to erase all the horrors and appease the damned souls.
In summary, balancing in the vision of light and darkness, the raven symbolises the voluntary isolation of the one who decided to live on a higher plane, trying to escape from torment, facing the reality and thus welcoming the much-deserved calm.
Antiquity hands us down ancient symbolism depicting the Raven as an embodiment of optmistic vision; that of the messenger and guardian. From as far ranging as Northern Europe, the Americas to North Asia and the Far East, the raven represents that of filial gratitude and family love.
Press release courtesy A2Z Art Gallery.