Ognjen was born in 1987 in Belgrade. He graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Graphics in 2013. He participated in several group exhibitions and had two solo exhibitions. Apart from drawing and painting he also does graphic design.
When did words become important in your work?
I’ve always had a tendency for writing. Each word has its own sound and visual appearance. It is a fine line that separates our senses.
Apart from lines, your drawings explode with signs. What attracts you to them?
I like to draw surfaces that are made up of words, numbers, signs and symbols used by people engaged in science. I observe what the relations of these shapes are, how they fit in and then make larger surfaces and compositions out of them. That sea of characters becomes like a kind of diary.
Traces of rough strokes remain visible in some drawings. How important is that to you?
A drawing is a trace on paper. Not all traces are the same. Some are deep in the paper, while some can be blown away by the wind. It all depends on the material and the emotion. Lines are physical objects, real materials that we shape under our fingers. It’s all in the intention. One single line can say a lot. And not every line is important unless you give it importance.
In addition to exhibitions, you regularly publish your works on the Internet. What does Instagram bring to you and what does it take away?
Honestly, I noticed that I like the instant attention and I used that to train my brain to draw more and more in order to get that award. The brain wants gratification but it doesn’t know that the drawings are actually the goal. I tricked it a little bit.
The Internet allowed me to communicate quickly with the audience. The drawings I post on the Internet often find their place in someone’s home. But the danger of communication via only the Internet is the splitting of personality without integration and the growing loneliness. We think we are connected but physically we are more and more distant from each other; the ability to concentrate is getting lower. People identify themselves with those parts of theirs which they formed in order to be presented in a certain way in public. Every movement, every word and thought belong to the public. Destructive and imperfect parts of our nature are pushed into the shadows.
My path will be through imperfections and through art. Maybe I will connect all parts of myself into one whole.
What is it like when you meet the people who buy your drawings?
I usually get surprised. People connect with my drawings in different ways. Every time I meet a person who wants to own my drawing, my inner strength grows further. It means to me when someone tells me that in some difficult life situation they found hope in my drawing. Thus we communicate and help each other.
What motivates you to draw the most?
I need to overcome helplessness and express a strong feeling. I need answers and sometimes I come to them through art. I want to have something that cannot be taken away from me. In the end, I lose everything, I know that, but inside myself I hope that there is something that will never disappear and that is eternally present in its most beautiful form. It’s the dialogue with the unknown.