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BEAUTY OF US

Collection of paintings 2017-2019.

I was born in 1990. Belgrade, Yugoslavia, in a time of war, inflation, international sanctions… when the image of my country around the world was one of an enemy or aggressor. Today that image has faded and there is another in its place, as horrible and as easily hated. And while our ecosystem is endangered and people are still hungry, while species of animals become extinct every day, we still look for the enemy. Whoever comes next, we cannot judged others by their origin. More than ever we need peace and harmony, tolerance and mutual respect. This is the reason why I decided to paint the best of every country, culture, religion, looking at it with admiration. It is our differences that make this planet and the humankind beautiful, it is different colors that make a painting colorful. Then, in the middle of it all there is a human – a portrait of a woman. It’s showing us that in the country where we are born, we are raised with certain values and tradition, but even though we have different costumes and backgrounds we are the same. We are human, with all that makes us human, wanting the same things in our lives. We all want love, peace and happiness and we all fight for it, so why can’t we stop fighting and just go to this destination together in harmony?


My travels have educated me, fueled my imagination and inspired me to start this series of paintings. They show various parts of the world through the portrait of a woman, a divine soul in different places, and the beauty of our differences. When I start a painting, what pulls me toward a certain ethnic group is a life story, or some part of the History and as well the aesthetics, the forms and most of all the colors. I like to dive in the culture through all its components. My research includes the landscapes, traditions, rituals, legends, plants, animals, people, costumes, jewelry... the more I have information, the more I feel like a part of it.


The painting processes itself starts with the model, the woman, it is always a woman. Why? Besides my preference for drawing and painting women’s body and face, in this collection I chose to work with a woman’s energy because it’s representing gentleness, kindness, tolerance which is exactly what I’m talking about, what we need in the world. In Hinduism it is believed, and it’s one of my beliefs as well, that we hold energy of both woman and man and that our world used to need more man’s energy for survival. Now that we need to go beyond survival, we need more woman’s energy. After drawing a model, I draw lines separating different spaces both in the face and in the background. These lines bring the geometry of my portraits and the separate parts define and represent the different character traits in the individual, our uniqueness. I think of it like a crystal ever developing itself, growing in straight lines and constructing the portrait piece by piece, like the atoms organizing themselves into structures creating the matter that makes us humans, and like humans organize themselves into structures that make the various cultures and societies of humankind. This portrait shows our unique construction but as well shows a group of people or the whole humanity as paces of the same.


Finally, I choose the dominant colors of the painting. The colors are a big part of my work; they give me the inspiration through the process of creation. To keep the intensity of the colors I apply oil paint directly from the tube on the canvas, without mixing them previously, which gives them brightness, keeps the raw energy of the color, and give a positive feel to my paintings, a higher vibration. The colors carry me through the creation, and give soul to the paintings.


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Image copyrights by Jelena Petkovic

 © PETKOVICART by Jelena Petkovic. 

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