Jordan Cvetanović, Brief Interview With B. N., 2008
Who are you and what is your work?
I am an artist. More precisely, I think I am almost equally a painter and a sculptor.
Drawing is very important to me just as alphabet is to a writer. It is the source of ideas that are transponded to a larger, more representative format, or into a more permanent material. It is, actually, the limitless freedom where one can do anything, without aiming to create a piece of art. Sometimes I just cut out klippings from magazines that I like and stick them in my notebook.
It is quite another thing with paintings or sculptures. One invests more conscious work and that is why one expects more. Especially with sculptures. More often than not, there is no improvisation. Where an error in painting can be removed with another layer of paint, in sculpture each plank that is cut in a wrong way or a piece of rock that is chipped has to be replaced with a completely new piece. You need concentration and a lot of technical knowledge. I think that there is a streak of calmness and a sculptor’s nature in me.
I create “ordinary” objects recognised by all. They are transformed, in my way re-interpreted, reality. I direct my art towards everyday life so that it can communicate with those who are not art consumers, with those who do not go to museums and galleries. Public work has that exact opportunity.
I love materials. I love wood, I love clay, plastic, concrete, metal… I love painting with a shovel and a chisel, hammer and nails, just as I love sculpting with paint and brushes. “Muscles”, as a friend of mine has said.
I paint because I think that there are things that can be presented better in a form of painting than in 3-D format, in space. I think that the paintings are cool. I imagine them on the walls of designed apartments with people who really like them. Paintings are my personal messages to you only.
A dose of humour is always present and important in what I do.
Why do you do what you do (what is the point)?
I choose art because that way I can address people the best I can. If I were unable to share my ideas with people, I think I would “flip the lid”. My pieces of work are ideas transformed to objects made of matter. Sometimes I manage to show a lot more than I have previously thought I could, and sometimes it is just a bit of a splendid idea I have had in the beginning. It simply happened at that moment. My next piece is important. It must be better. It is most important to surprise yourself or else your effort was in vain.
How do you see yourself in the scene?
I think that I am, just like the majority of artist here, in quite a complicated position both in the sense of capacity to produce and in the sense of exhibiting. Sometimes I make a big piece for an exhibition (Belef, October Salon, Youth Biennale…). Sometimes it seems as self-satisfaction. But it is important to work every day. Those little things are important. The big ones come by themselves (or they do not at all).
What did you do in Holland?
During my three years of post-graduate studies in Holland I was working with different materials and in different media. I wanted to communicate with as many people as possible, and I wanted that fast. I needed the instant reaction to my works, quicker, more direct communication. I wanted to see what was going on around me. I spent my time riding my bike down the streets, collecting cast-away objects (planks, wooden boards, TV screens…) and I made different things with them. I wanted to give these thrown-away things back to the people but in an altogether different form. I was doing a sort of recycling (the Tower – big black chimneys, TV Mountains – TV screens cast in a layer of concrete. Cake – a stage made of cast away wood, Collection – found marbles in a form of collection etc.
I never think rationally about my topics. I get there accidentally, as if they find me. They are just ordinary objects that are unusually attractive to me. There are certain topics that have always attracted me. They are factory towers, houses, mountains and, generally, powerful architectural or natural shapes, then little fires, because they are so evasive, etc.
The most important thing in my life is freedom. I do not want to have to answer to anyone about my art. I do not worry about whether or not I will sell a piece. If it happens it has happened. I do not create art to make a living of it. I really enjoy myself doing it.