Danilo Stojanovic Croatian, b. 1989


Danilo Stojanovic (b. 1989, Pula, Croatia) lives and works in Venice, Italy. He graduated from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia with a specialization in Painting (BA 2013/MA 2018). Recent exhibitions include Carnival Dream, G/ART/EN Gal- lery, Italy (2022); Mourning the Red Cactus, Andrea Festa Fine Art, Italy (2021); 07, PM/AM, United Kingdom (2021); Les Danses Nocturnes, Eastcontemporary/Spread Museum, France (2021); Sworm: Balla Balaclavas and the Shithead Baroque, Below Grand, New York, United States (2020); and Be careful what you wish for (the fire is in the underbelly), U10 Art Space, Belgrade, Serbia (2019).

Ghoul, 2021
Art Fairs

Danilo Stojanovic’s pictorial poetry is rich in dichotomies, rooted in artistic movements with antagonistic values which are translated into images that possess an original, authentic and harmonious identity. The painter, Istrian by birth but Venetian by adoption, encloses in his canvases (generally small or medium-sized) the perpetual - but never obvious - presence of mutation. A presence expressed not only through a cold palette of blues, greens and grays, but also through the creation of an atmosphere that is perceived as fluid and changeable, within which the objects represented appear embedded and fluctuating. It is precisely thanks to these metamorphic elements that the declared influence of Italian Metaphysics, with its mysterious and enigmatic settings, is applied to scenarios that completely lose the need of geometric perspective: perspective rigor, in fact, becomes superfluous within a dimension where spatial composition is based entirely on positioning and relationship between the extraordinary entities that populate it. These figures are alien, alienated and alienating, showing organic and anthropomorphic characteristics but clearly belonging to a distant and unknown dimension that is unrelated to terrestrial naturalism. And yet, they remain vaguely recognizable thanks to scattered remnants of human details and the juxtaposition with everyday objects, such as bottles and candlestands (evocative of 17th-century veritas) which are placed within an imaginary “middle ground”, acting as a bridge between the realm of fantasy and the real world of the observer. The viewer is then forced to question the role, meaning and provenance of such entities and becomes a fundamental piece in the construction of the artworks’ narrative. In fact, a visceral connection triggers between the image and the observer and results into a magnetic attraction for that gloomy representation of the unknown; a tormenting curiosity finally awakes, mitigated (or stimulated) by fear of the obscure. Stojanovic, for his part, is not afraid to explore and expose the dark side that characterizes every exponent of mankind, and here lay the motives for the creation of the aforementioned connection: each of us has a dark side – however, we are not always willing to accept or able to fully understand it. That part of us is now gutted and represented on canvas, a part that we do not see directly but that we know we bear, like an organ, a liver, a kidney - a fundamental piece of our being - but to which we relate unwillingly or without pleasure because it is bloody, raw, sometimes ruthless. These paintings impose on the observer an unswerving and inevitable confrontation with darkness, and therefore present themselves as disturbing and melancholic, in direct dialogue with the Freudian concept of uncanny: likely but elusive, identifiable but shocking, familiar but incomprehensible. Beware, though: despite appearances, Stojanovic’s visions are not pessimistic or hopeless. The painter possesses the magic ingredient of a subtle irony that hides in the background, but which undoubtedly lightens his works, saving them from a murk without return that would otherwise swallow them. The irony that finds expression precisely in the absurdity of the forms and dreamlike atmospheres characterizing his canvases, as if to recall a Surrealist philosophy. The ability to frame these images in a playful climate lifts them up and brings them closer to a viewer who is invited to interact once again. These paintings reveal the possibility of playing with the unknown instead of withdrawing from it.