ARCHEOLOGY OF LIGHT
In the beginning, God created
the heavens and the earth.
The earth was without form and void,
and darkness was over the face of the deep.
And the Spirit of God was hovering
over the face of the waters.
And God said: Let there be light.
And there was light.
- Genesis -
Boris Dragojevic belongs to a family of Mediterranean painters, a small assembly of brothers by sea.
Among them are also Marko Murat, Emanuel Vidovic, Pedja Milosavljevic, Zvonimir Mihanovic; and
the younger ones are Momcilo Macanovic and Sasha Montiljo. They are all painters of Mediterranean airs,
the Southern sun, whose paintings have a scent of pines, cypresses and other plants growing by the sea.
Perhaps that is why everything in his works is sanctified and lit, touched by spirit and miraculous.
As if fire-flies are in the sea, and Locrum, Korchula and Our Lady of the Rocks become warm nests above the abyss.
Everything is humanized on Dragojevic’s paintings, even the civilization chaos. Bay of Kotor is the center of the world, crystal
of the sea and skies, and its immense depths are the birthplace and geography of dreams.
Ships sail through the skies and underneath children play with delicate, colorful pebbles.
Flanks in a marina of a forgotten old ship, crashed and washed out by numerous waves,
a world in which a church is placed. In keeping with the ancient saying “It is necessary to sail, it is not necessary to live”,
every human being is a sailor. The painter is a Robinson who, like a novice, repents and atones for sins.
He uses his brush to chase away evil, and his work wakes the spirit from eternal sleepiness.
The painter is in collusion with eternity and sings it sweet canzones.
At the same time, Dragojevic belongs to another family of painters. His opal colors, paintings that
seem as if they were painted by precious lapis lasuli, transparent ultramarine, Prussian blue, cobalt from the bottom of the sea,
invoke some of the dreadful, heavy, twilight beauty described in poems written by William Blake, Goethe and Rimbaud,
and paintings by John Martin and Milovan Vidak. Dragojevic painfully lives his paintings.
However, his works are not only Mediterranean and visionary.
He uses his painting tools to move perspectives, bird’s view becomes frog’s view and scenes from
the bottom are heavenly, according to the alchemical motto: “That which is above is like that which is below”.
In a way, those are holly paintings, a reply of gift to the challenges of the times of postmodern and post-technological utopia.
He revealed how a painter doesn’t have to be an icon painter to create sacral pieces, to respond to challenges of history,
to make peace between Western and Eastern tradition, church and everyday life. Our Savior is at the bottom of the sea,
because God is everywhere. Christ was crucified to atone for the sins of all living creatures,
to relieve the earth and heavens. Scenes of crucifixion symbolize resurrection and baptizing by light.
There are the first waters and heavens from the beginning of Genesis.
This artist brought a seldom found union of sharpness and poetics. He joined hyperrealism with the intimacy
of Belgrade school, the precise figuration with discrete imagination. He sailed the seas of melancholy,
but he didn’t sink. He walked the deserted docks and beaches where a sense of being thrown into the world wakes
from the very depths of human beings, where winds of doubt roar, yet everything is peaceful and in harmony.
These paintings rise wondering and sympathy and reach the heart itself. The Island of Death by Arnold Böcklin,
under the intoxicating Mediterranean sun becomes the island of life. In the name of Dragojevic’s empire,
let us remember Schopenhauer’s advice “Before wonderful paintings we should
be silent and wait for them to address us first” or Paul Valery’s thoughts
“When you write about art of painting, ask for its forgiveness”.
text by Dejan Djoric
(translated by: Sandra Gagic)