SCOPE Basel kicks off in just two weeks and we’re here to give you a sneak preview of artists on the cutting edge of European contemporary art. At the forefront of our current infatuations are the charcoal works on paper by Serbian artist Petar Mirkovic. “BRLNX1” (above), representative of Mirkovic’s brand of photo realism will be showcased by Galerie Lukas Feichtner, Vienna in Basel from June 10th through the 16th (times vary each day).
“BRLNX1” (above) is a prime example of Mirkovic’s impeccably detailed, dark pieces. At first glance, Mirkovic’s persistent attention to detail will fool you into thinking you’re looking at a photograph… And when you’ve finally overcome that illusion, you’ll remain mesmerized by the sheer mystery behind each character. Heavy shadows carefully conceal every man’s expression, and we can’t help but be drawn by the artistic perplexity that faces us (no pun intended). A nondescript black car surrounded by featureless men; the subject matter sets the stage for drama and the audience is invited to interpret the moody vignette before them. While most of Mirkovic’s work displays modern subject matter—evidenced by the vehicle model, surrounding architecture and subjects’ attire—their high contrast and moody style transports us back to the Mad Men era of 1960’s New York City.
Mirkovic’s drawings are direct reproductions of screenshots from “trashy movies” but the dominant elements of darkness, shine, and reflection shed any B-movie residue and turn these otherwise ordinary scenes into a deeper exploration of urban life.
“The subject of my drawings is only a fragment of wider interests for the ‘urban life’ domain and fascination with contemporary ‘lifestyle aesthetics’ which is the conceptual platform flowing through my work,” he says.
Mirkovic has long been captivated with city life and its depiction in modern art. He has worked in numerous mediums other than drawing, including oil painting, various forms of installation, and film. Working through different methods however has not hindered his ability to cleanly convey his message of finding the unique – and the “real” — moments in even the most unlikely of circumstances. Since his early days of drawing, Mirkovic has achieved a new kind of artistic and critical awareness specific to his place in the new generation of Serbian art. He is creating works that speak, above all, truth to the metropolitan experience. ALINA HEIM
Photos courtesy of Petar Mirkovic