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 Nikola was born in Belgrade in 1993. He’s a painter, a dad, a husband and a pedagogue. Nikola studied painting in Belgrade and also in Vienna. He helps others learn drawing and painting in Kosi studio. He loves Zvezdara and its forests.He’s trying to turn his terrace into a botanical garden.

IG: NikolaKosic

You dedicated yourself to painting portraits. How did that interest start?

I think that through portraits I began to understand what I am really interested in painting. I’ve never been interested in fantastic scenes or anything like that, but by making portraits I became more aware of that ‘’magic’’ of everyday life. For the first time, I was fascinated by reality.
For me, painting portraits is like doing a visual interview, just mixed with the current light, the environment and the personal impression of the whole thing. There is a lot more behind that ‘’façade’’ of somebody’s face.
When you are working on a portrait it actually includes the whole relationship you have with that person. That process takes time; it’s not like a photo taken in a second. It is exactly in this time period that there is room for the influence of different thoughts and moods. I enjoy painting people I know and love. I let the feeling of colour guide me and I just follow it.

The portraits are made as miniatures and they fit in the palm of the hand. Why did you opt for that?

I had a lot of those little cut formats in the studio. I tried painting on them and I liked that such a format creates more intimacy; it was interesting to me and reminded me of icons. It was more of an intuitive decision. I think sometimes we come up with some good solutions…well, accidentally. During studies, I experimented a lot and tried different techniques and styles. I guess that’s the point of the faculty – to do all kinds of stuff until you find something you like and then continue to research it further and dedicate yourself to it.

You sometimes derogate from realism in your colour palette, which gives an interesting atmosphere. Do you sometimes intentionally derogate from realistic human figures?

It’s fun when you can relax and paint one eye slightly lowered relative to the other. Just as caricatures, although extremely distorted, they can perfectly describe someone, so a mild stylization can be great and portray that person much better.

You’ve recently done a series of paintings inspired by glasses?

Glasses are a perfect example of the beauty that is in front of our noses, and which often goes unnoticed. Sometimes the light breaks through the glass together with the liquid inside and makes some crazy play of light, shadows and shapes that I have to record. Sometimes it is nice when there is no deep story or concept, but when you pay homage to the simple everyday life. Each theme provides something interesting and in the past few years I have had a growing respect for classic themes such as genre scenes, still life and landscapes.

What is the thing that usually inspires you to take out your brushes and paints?

Apart from inspiration, I think that the will is equally important. Like everything else, you need to be motivated, even if you would rather rest or do something else. The trick is that, if it’s not really a day for painting, you do something else, but related to that. For me, it’s typically making frames.

Do you foresee any further course that you would like to take?

After portraits, I feel the need to deal with some more complex compositions. At the moment, I am very keen on light in situations when there is not enough of it. That interest actually started when I had to get up in the middle of the night to put my child to sleep. Somehow, you observe the night differently when you are in a room in complete darkness, you sway to the rhythm of a song and you look at those subtle refractions of light. All those night lights have thousands of colours; a warm street orange coming through the window, a cool white that illuminates the tiles in the kitchen and then a car passing by and triggering all those colours and lights around the room for a moment. It all looks completely insane, and I’ve never paid attention to that before. Who knows how many such things there are around us. It’s all beautiful and worth recording.

IG: NikolaKosic