Surviving Work
Contemporary painting
painting, contemporary painting, art, contemporary art, spray paint, work, work today, zolt kovac

Surviving Work


[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_column_text]The text was created during a mail conversation between Marija Radisavcevic, Branislav Nikolic and Zolt Kovac during the work on the Survive Work exhibition


I already told you about the reasons why the pictures were created. I have had a burnout due to too much work and work – school work, other graphic designer job, artistic and music “career” with all the accompanying activities, Supervision engagement, PhD, various side projects, and last but not least – family . Everyone has their limits, and I push for my own. What is interesting to note is that at first, doing many things at the same time and doing them well and dedicated, I felt very good. I was fascinated by how many things I manage to do in a day, how many different jobs to do at one time, how many different identities to change in a short period of time, while ideas flowed far beyond my capabilities. And then, at one point, a coup happened. I still did many things in one day, but they melted into each other and the days ran one after the other, dupes filled, weeks and even months in advance. Only the enthusiasm disappeared, and I turned into a faceless robot carrying out my own life. It was then that I realized that, at least in my case, any division into private, business, and public life ceased to exist, while the day seemed to be necessary to do certain things that went down according to some priorities. I didn’t really care what kinds of jobs were to be done, so in terms of intensity and presence in the business, they completely equalized, for example. practicing math with son, lecturing, cooking lunch, working in an atelier, car registration, holding band rehearsals, getting food and supplies from the store, writing a doctorate, spreading laundry, interviewing artists, getting home ready. Then I started to think about what was really going on, whether it was just middle-aged people who were just going that way on their way to old age, or was there more to it. I have noticed that I belong to the first generation entering middle age with all the communication and technological aids that have changed the world, including the world of work. Never before has so much communication been possible in such a quick and easy way. I sometimes think that it took my parents’ generation maybe two weeks to exchange and check as much information as a person today over their heads and through devices in a day. On the other hand, in the age of consumerism, there were never higher expectations of all aspects of life, from professional activity, through investing in additional education and developing new capacities, constant reinvention in the field of art and music, to investing in children, living space, body, health, appearance and nutrition. Not to go further. It is clear what happened to me, ie. what is happening to us all. I’m not an exception here, I’m just busting maybe faster than someone else, and I’m just an artist who needs to express that.


After a good and long pause, when my desire to paint came back, there were topics before me that I wanted to cover. It started with Help, Good Lord, Sympathetic Overdrive, and then through Gonna Work Myself to Death, Can Stop Stop Traffic in My Mind, and it will continue with Everything Is Work Is Not Everything, My Organs Scream Slow Down Man and more. The content was there, so it was necessary to develop some form that would carry it. Since the communicative nature of images is very important to me, I reached out to formal street art and graphic design strategies, hence sprays, intense colors, patterns and typography. In fact, I wanted and needed to reinvent myself, to come up with a new phase of work that would be appropriate for place and time and content. I started developing a new visual language for me, from initial mark-making to later color-intensive works and introduced textual elements. In addition to street art, it is also worth mentioning that my paintings pull a single “digital” component, in the sense that at one point in time I often use digital tools to bring the picture to a close and make the necessary decisions. This contributes to an “artificially” aesthetic that is reminiscent of digital works, but is completely analogous in performance.


All in all, quite a personal image, with a step into a new style, combining elements of painting, design, street art and digital aesthetics.



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