Balkan Art Scene
Darko Jovičić — Purpose of Creation Is The Intimacy of One Talking to Oneself
Street art was a part of your first steps into art world. What made you start your journey as a street artist? What were you first choices when it comes to shapes and colors?
My street art journey began through graffiti, in elementary school, in 2006, when my friend and I became interested in that culture, observing works that were largely created in Tuzla at that time, where the graffiti scene was very developed and active. We bought two sprays one day and set off for the first time on an adventure on the roof of a garage. From that day it was a complete obsession, and everything was developing with great intensity. So, this is also the first choice when it comes to colors and shapes, everything was focused on letters, typography and experimenting with colors.
Product design is your current niche of work. Is it too consumer-oriented? Or did you find a way to implement all the creativity?
I am consumer oriented as much as I think it is necessary. This refers to the quality of the product, its use, marketing, and communication with customers. But I also try to implement creativity and leave my signature in each product, I try not to be similar to others, and that the specific market of our country, does not take away my creativity and turn my product into a uniform copy. I try to create something unique, as much as possible. And through the brand I try to establish that balance, between our streetwear fashion scene, and the world scene, and of course I try to feel that freedom in creating every product.
Brand you're currently developing is called BALANCER, and it's focused on urban lifestyle and bold colors and lines. Would you tell us a background story of the brand, and direction of its development?
The BALANCER brand was officially created at the end of the manic year 2020., and the idea was born somehow naturally from the art concept. I had a desire to transfer these abstract forms from prints to real, physical form. I teamed up with my girlfriend Dunja, who was (and still is) my biggest support, and we released the first collection of wooden and plexiglass earrings. After that, we decided to expand the portfolio with various products. This created the need to switch sales to more channels, so we have established cooperation with several concept stores, one of which is in Belgrade. Dunja oversees the business and social side of the brand, and I am in charge of the creative side. Although, it is fair to say that the final product is the result of mutual ideas and desires. Sometimes one of us comes up with an idea for a product, sometimes the other, then we sit down and agree on what the product will look like. Our main goal is a quality, durable product, simple and functional design to which we will add that characteristic BALANCER signature. We imagine it as a product that will stand out from the crowd. Also, we are not focused on large, mass production, but on limited quantities. Therefore, most products are made to order, except for those found in certain shops. We do not want to pile up materials or create unnecessary waste. We research and learn about materials, because we want the BALANCER product to be wearable and usable for as long as possible.
Photo: Zlata Hodžić
As for the brand, we plan to collaborate with some other shops in the region, we are considering opening our own, and we are arranging collaborations with some other small brands from BiH. We have just released a new collection of backpacks - BRUTAL BAG, a bag that we presented for the first time last year and which received a very good response and support, and this time it is inspired by traditional Bosnian motifs. When it comes to the art concept, I started a small tour of solo exhibitions called Equilibrium. The tour started its journey in Zagreb at the end of March, and continues in Tuzla on April 22, then in Mostar on May 6. Also, I am in negotiations with some other galleries in BiH, and galleries in Berlin and Munich. So far, this concept has met with very good and positive feedback, and I am really proud of it, I hope it will remain so.
Photo: Zlata Hodžić
What about your visual arts purposes? There must be something happening there, in terms of developing inner changes to the final outcome of manifesting it in your artwork.
Just as creation comes from within me, so the purpose of that creation is to talk to oneself. The concept is very intimate. Through it, I try to achieve balance, peace, which we all strive for as human beings. The pursuit of peace is in fact an escape from the extremes that have followed me through my life so far, and that have led me to various dangers, retreats into myself or total asociality. When I say extremes, it mostly refers to graffiti culture. That culture is extremely creative and liberating, but at the same time full of adrenaline and danger, which you become aware of only after some time. Hence, I call escape - a state of consciousness, in which I can finally say "ok, I'm aware of it and I want to continue to be a part of it, but let's eliminate all that danger." I'm still active and committed, it's my first love and I really enjoy it. And it will probably stay that way for a long time. Also, another important reason for creating is that I have always strived to be a person who tries to meet everyone’s expectation and be there for another, and all this often left me energetically exhausted and empty at the end of the day. I am learning to be there for myself, to set boundaries and to appreciate my moment of peace. Through the BALANCER concept, I create my world of perfect dualism and connect all these extremes into one point of perfect balance in which I feel peace. People experience my artworks in different ways, and I like to listen to their feedback, especially because I can really recognize in them a part of myself that I consciously (or unconsciously) transferred to those artworks. And of course, therein lies all the beauty of creation.
Author: Hana Tiro