Danilo (1975 Belgrade, Serbia) lives and works in Amsterdam since 1992. Besides being an artist, Danilo teaches arts and crafts at High School level in The Netherlands.
Danilo’s paintings are staged for scenes of an autobiographical nature, dominated by color, filmic shots and interesting perspectives, focused on a specific topic.. His work is about unusual daily meetings that remind us of comic books.
Looking at the colors of Danilo’s paintings also reminds us a bit of a child’s drawings. Remarkable is a fresh vision on the issues and prejudices of life. Danilo is interested in cities as blends of different cultures, backgrounds and nationalities and their energy vibes and harmony. But also in the interesting daily problems and situations. His work evolved from slightly abstract reality to realism.
‘With my work, I try to slightly disorient the viewer by choosing an unusual angle (point of view) in the composition. So that one actively has to become a part of the situation by searching for their position within the painting. And the canvases are big. Once you have found your place within the image, you can ask yourself: hey, how did I get here, and why did I get here? To really get an answer to this question, you need to read the story behind the painting otherwise you are left on your own, with your own perception of things based on your experiences and maybe your own prejudices.’
‘The unusual perspectives that I am using for my paintings are inspired by movies, video clips and surveillance cameras, something that we have to deal with for some time now or something we grew up with. The content is always autobiographical. It is mainly about special moments I have witnessed in my life which are not always pleasant. With my work, I try to give the viewer a pause to think. I do not always criticize certain behavior that I am painting about. I am not that much of a moralist. I record the special moments and in particular the body positions of participants, and how life reveals itself to you in al its hectic, intensity, chaos, order, peace, beauty and harmony. However, it is always autobiographical because I have to keep it real and raw. I am not a painter making up storiesthat were not lived by myself, sitting somewhere in a white studio, wearing white gloves, totally disconnected from every day reality.”
Conventional painting compositions started to bore me at a certain point in time. The first painting that started bending my brain is a painting by a painter with whom I do not have much in common: ‘Christ of St John of the cross’ by Salvador Dali. Although this was a common subject, my brain had to get used to this perspective. It made me dizzy through its deviant perspective. Other paintings by Dali are not much of inspiration to me, but the encounter with this painting by Dali was long before I started experimenting with different perspectives and angles. Later on, I totally forgot about this painting and I went on painting as I was taught at the academy. Along the way, the non-conventional perspective came to me by itself. It was a natural process. I started to draw by looking through the windows, inspired by the old Amsterdam rearview mirrors attached to the windowsills. Then I experimented with the mirror views, multiple mirror projections and collages. This is how my new style was born.
Countless comic books devoured in my youth, also had a great impact on me and made a mark on my early work: Phantom, Mandrake, Alan Ford, Prince Valliant, Marvel Comics”. That is why I like to put lots of action in my work, I think.
Painting as an art form is not yet over as far as I am concerned. Many artists moved to new media because it was invented. And that is OK. Painting is an old tradition with techniques used by men since 40,000 years B.C. and perhaps even earlier. A computer or a camera cannot just make painting-as-an-art-form fade away. They can just help it a great deal, if you know how to use it well. On the other hand, the more artists quit painting, the more space there is for those of us who keep the torch burning. I think that right now compared to a few years ago, there is the smallest percentage of artists that can, and is willing to paint.