"Island" 2010 62 x 84inches, oil on polyester
"village" 2009 60 x 50 inches, oil on polyester
" ALEKSANDAR POPOVIC "
September 30 - October 12, 2010
During my early years at the Belgrade Academy and the St. Martinís School of Art, my work was focused on the human form under an anatomical, almost scientific scrutiny. This interest in figure and how it was oriented in space, continued to stay with me after my arrival to New York in varied contexts. Gradually, any recognizable surroundings issipated and the figures in multiples were organized in different configurations. The only indication of space was the distance between them. As the images again became more complex, a new order of relationships started to form.
I became interested in the ways that we experience the space around us and how we change it with our presence. I am considering how the distances, scale and the viewing angle affect our perceptions of a place. I am also curious about how we impose our cultural concepts of arranging and organizing, which in turn impacts our surroundings by compartmentalizing the space. Whether it is an architectural structure or a landscape zoning enclosure, we are profoundly affected by the notion of being encircled.
My new canvases are exploring this relationship of people and their environment by positioning the viewer in the unlikely birds-eye vantage point. This sets up a stage that creates an unsettling situation of vertiginous figures dropping down in the mapped out expanses of land. The presence of architectural elements imply a conceptual nature of the imagery, countering the volumetric rendering of the human form. This approach allows me to intertwine individual elements from the figures and still keep them anonymous.
The formal elements and quality of paint have a significant role in evoking references from different time periods and cultural contexts. My insistence on the importance of specific colors comes from their properties to retain and reflect some undefined but familiar territory from the past.?