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Dalibor Dado Ćetković — A Dream as a Meeting Place, a Borderline Place of Worlds

Author: Hana Tiro

Photo credit: Vesela Radović Mišković

In your biography it is stated that your father taught you the basics of drawing. Could you tell us more about that? If there is more relation to your arts and your father?

I started learning the first steps with my father, who was a painter and a merchant by profession. In the basement of the house there is a space that then served as a pantry, workshop and father's studio. Even today, the same space is intended for work, that is, my studio. There, after his job, he came to work, whether he was painting or doing something, so I always came to watch and study. He was very creative and I was so interested in everything from the beginning to the end. I started painting on canvas with my father when I was less than six years old. I also got acquainted with all the drawing and painting materials and worked in all the techniques. Watching something from the device get fixed, I learned all about the tools. I am proud that today I can do almost all the work myself, and especially that I already knew a lot about painting with the beginning of school.

My father was the first to believe that one day I would realize myself as an artist. In the sixties of the last century, he didn’t have the support of his father, so he directed him to trade precisely because of those famous words that one cannot make a living from art. Although at that time the Montenegrin art scene greatly developed and set numerous names, our people didn’t give enough attention, unlike other developed countries. I was lucky to be born in some, until then, slightly better period for our area when it comes to fine arts.

I learned the most from my father, starting from how to hold a pencil properly in my hand, all the way to drawing objects correctly and building a composition, using colors and ways of painting, etc. From fifth grade, I started selling my paintings that many were amazed at and didn’t believe that child was painting. I was persistent in that and I progressed every year.

It was very interesting for me to observe how he painted with ease and in a free way in the manner of an impressionist, and I wanted to convey as many details as possible and be as close as possible to a realistic depiction. I tried all the techniques and styles, so I experimented and searched for years. Sooner or later, everyone finds themselves sometime in life. It is important to work and everything will come by itself.

Your latest work is a series named 'Dream in a dream', is it a concept similar to maybe E.A. Poe's 'A Dream Within a Dream', or does it go far beyond that?

Interestingly, most of the paintings created in the Antares cycle have the opportunity to develop their own separate path in my creative world. Thus, the painting "Dream in a dream" was the first to set a path for itself this year, because I continued to paint dreams, so I ended up with a new exhibition named after that painting, and I was inspired by his song of the same name because it talks about transience of life.

This work was created as a painted fragment of my dreams, that is, out of a desire to present an interesting moment in a person's life, and that is a dream as a meeting place, a borderline place of worlds. With this painting I represent a passage in dreams, a passage that is in the whirlpool of life events from the distant past as well as future ones. Like a passage through time. New paintings that have developed and follow the same poetics are: Dream Tunnel, Hurricane of Thought, Birds of Paradise, Dolphin, Above the City and others.

I do not enter the description and I don’t leave myself to chance, but I skillfully direct the flow of my creative thought, that is, my dream, woven from the words of the visual language.

Using graphic effects as my advantage and not as a craft trick, I manage to build my world on that contrast, at the same time decomposing it now by drawing, now by painting, as in a dream. In painting, I want to express mobility, the movement of a line of drawings, images, surfaces, insisting on fine art, making a colored filter with which I make clear cuts, delimiting the fields of different techniques, images and drawings.

Your interests range from painting to sculpting to photography... Do different mediums provoke different views on the world?

I can say that different media only serve me to present the idea in a different form. For me, it is connected in some way. When I painting, I recognize something inside work that may not be visible to everyone, so I try to present it in a piece of wood or stone. It often happens that I fill my walks with interesting photos. There will be some documentaries, although they are not reckless, but I’m mostly focused on finding answers in nature. I most often find portraits and human figures shaped by nature that actually send us messages about time and existence. I almost don't use photos as the main motive for the painting at all, but the memories of those interesting moments inspire me to start a painting that goes further in its direction.

For more than a year now, we've been living virtual lives. Have you been impacted by these changes, in terms of your creativity?

Virtual life has already greatly accustomed us to the new opportunities it provides, even long before the pandemic. It is of great benefit to artists because it is the easiest and fastest way for art to reach as many fans as possible, but also those who do not have the habit of visiting exhibitions. Our studios are open with visits to many social networks where there is a huge number of users, so I believe that it is interesting for many to see what the artist is doing. Since new works can be presented quickly, the desire to create increases, so productivity is higher, and creativity also develops in the desired directions. It is necessary for the artist to be in isolation because then he is closest to himself and his creative view of the world. However. the pandemic has largely captured all other people on the planet, so art has been deprived in some way and therefore many do not care because it is logical that health is the most important. In that sense, I wanted to show a different and more beautiful world, so no heavy content can be found within my works that would additionally burden already burdened people. My paintings aim to motivate and elevate the human spirit to a much higher level, above all the problems of today that we face at every step.

Anything more you would like to add?

I must add that it is of great importance that everyone works on themselves. We have to evolve in every way because it is extremely important for the progress of our civilization. Man as well as artist should keep up with the times and strive to progress every day. If everyone does not know himself, it is impossible for him to understand others, including art.

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