What has changed in the creativity of Radovan Trnavac Mića since the moment hen he set out in the world at the beginning of the 1980s? We remember him as a painter of it could be said special poetics which resulted from what had been defined in a theoretical and fine-arts manner by Leonid Šejka (1932-1970)
Of course, by leaving for America, at the very first contact with the new surraoundings Trnavac reacted propmptly as an artist to the boliling life of a megalopolis like New York. It is clear that his ethical attitudes remained untouched. As he was convinced that there was not and could not be “an excuse for destruction and pollution of nature, or killing animals”, as “it is an unforgivable crime of modern man” (Trnavac, 1995), he did not change anything essentially on the iconographic plan. The message included in the condemnation of human violence over the environment and nature or better to say revolt against such irresponsible behavior, still represents the red thread of his creativity.
The results reached by Trnavac during the last three decades of profilic work and action in the field of art and culture, proved his personality which can not be still. As a courious person, full of energy and above all good organizer, he most often weaves on a few looms, he does several jobs at a time and explores different sides simultaneously.
With such accomplished works of art, as well as with the entirety of acting within Serbian culture and art during the last three decades of 20th century we can make a conclusion with full responsibility that Radovan Trnavac Mića has already left a deep and indelible trial.Short text version
THE BEAUTY OF THE TRASH PILE
Since the 1950s when Dado Djurić together withj Uroš Tošković discovered the world of cellars and the damnation of side rooms, through the plane trees of the deceased Leonid Šejka, who by getting out of the painting frame went straight to Belgrade junk heaps to proclaim the Big Trash Pile, up to the paintings of late Mediala, young rebels have discovered the poetry of decay. It seems that their passion is the fruit of revolt against the self-satisfaction of new objects and the dictates of design. Their paintings seem to speak about the uselessness of the race in which life wants to include us ay any price: look how that ends! On the trash pile! This waste id the key to their philosophy, so it is not in the least strange that Trnavac continues to explore the fatal attraction of that eternal storehouse, to turn old things over, to dismantle clock mechanisms, to bend parking signs, to tear off heads and arms on dolls to discover what there is inside… He does it with astonishing skill, craftsmanship and maturity. But who knows? Maybe one day he will find a piece of serenity in the dark hole which contains everything; maybe a clear unintentionally cast place out of which a new painting will be born.
Art critics, numerous lovers of painting and first buyers at the first one-man show of young Trnavac seemed to feel the birth of a new name on Belgrade’s art stage. The unusually large number of visitors to the exhibition at the Gallery of Kolarac National University proved that modern paintings could be as fascinating as some rock concerts, if done with passion, risk and love.Short text version
Saying something about his visual approach the first thing to note is that is completely in accord with the author`s philosophical and litterry painting. Thus the visual approach is in the form of a faithful representation of the scene he wants to be conveyed to the viewer. At this level the geometric perspective, the cool background consisting of predominantly blue and green hues, together with the voluminous feature and always present, well expressed felling for matter and objects are the most characteristic moments of his visual approach. Short text version
DEFINIG THE REAL AND THE SURREAL
The first thing you notice in the painting of radovan Trnavac is how extremely well painted they are. A closer look reveals an order which is neither rational/realist nor formalist, a kind of supernatural order, completely personal to the artist yet open to more general communicative levels.
Mica uses his knowledge of the science of painting to create a world of familiar but strange symbols, complex and multivalent, filled with a weird beauty thet both invites and ropels. They are games of survival in a post-industrial, almost post-nuclear age, made all the more otherworldly and mesmeric because they are composed of us and of the things around us in the seen world of the present.
In the “school of real experience” Mica ingested the reality of living on the psychological edge as in my estimation only Middle European lives in it. It is the sense of this experience which informs his work with a specific kind of strangeness not probable in the mind’s eye of the artist who has not been there. It is, of course, in the mind’s eye of Mica alone that these very personally originated paintings take form. Short text version
RADOVAN TRNAVAC MIĆA
Robert H. Browning
For Trnavac the world would be meaningless were it not for men’s presence. The man is both creator and destroyer, genius of invention and architect of absurdity. Outside of man `s presence the world of nature has no place in these paintings. The only hint of a world outside the artist’s studio is the occasional appearance of a sparrow, a symbol of hope but also a sure reminder of man’s self-created estrangement from nature and perhaps as an expression of the artist’s own feelings of isolation. His studio has been made a mirror for the artist`s perception of human psyche.
While much so called Post Modernist work that attempts to deal with content lacks any real substance, these paintings by Radovan Trnavac are provocative, powerful and meaningful. Their power lies not in any grand statement but in their poetic vision and as in all good poetry their meaning is revealed gradually. Short text version
NEW YORK PAINTINGS
Frances M. Nicosia
It has always been truly impossible to separate creator from what has been created and Mica’s vision is as unique as unforgettable. His imagery has enormous staying power and reflects a great deal of his personality.
Concern about the dehumanizing effects of technology or the lost innocence of youth which we recognize in our middle age, are both common themes for this generation. Mica’s contribution as an artist is not to present philosophical novel views of these themes, but to present a unique vision for us to share these common feelings of mature adults with him.
His inspiration, as Delacroix noted, is to say more about past ideas rather than to invent new ones.
Even though bright, airy and colourful, one would never describe his work as simply decorative. Each painting invites us, even demands form us a good faith effort to interpret. Meaning which is so much more important for great art than decoration demands time and effort, yet rewards those who make the effort with a lifetime of pleasure. Short text version
WITH OPTIMISM IN A NEW CENTURY
Those looking to his art for simple answers will certainly not find them. These “seekers” will be confused by Mica’s use of ironic juxtaposition of familiar symbols.
Through his brush he conveys his confidence in us. Mica intuits that by merely suggesting potential malaise in our time by means of art more real than the ego controlled illusion we call reality, the “reality” of which we so often speak, but do not heed, that in the end we will do what is right. We will act. We will find our own answers. In the end Mica’s optimism is justified.Short text version
CREATING FOR 21st CENTURY
Mica is an universal artist who with his profuse talent has long since outstripped his own environment and his integrated himself firstly into the contemporary trends in European art and then primarily through his powerful classicism and latterly thought his successful attempts in the field of contemporary trends for more than fifteen years now has made his mark first upon Manhattan and subsequently upon a wider area of the North American continent.
The postulate of his compositions, the synchronization of his colours, the motifs, symbols and all other elements which he treats in his canvases, speak of the artistry and maturity of this painter who has learnt immeasurable amount and understood how to establish contact with world in an extremely universal fashion. Short text version
THE WORK OF TALENT AND LOVE
Being a painter of powerful artistry, visionary imagery and profound estheticism, Radovan Trnavac Mića builds his immense talent into the very foundation of his work, but also manages to show his sincere affection for people, nature and the universe. Without this affection, no talent, regardless of its might, is capable of such fruitful production. His paintings, bearing resemblance to religious enactments from ancient icons, emanate Love and Hope. They remind their observers of the times when we made things better, when we were closer to our inner selves and closer to Nature, which we have thoughtlessly turned into rubbish dumps and battlefields. You can see this moving love for the world and life in the paintings depicting the fear of man’s cataclysmic negligence towards nature and disrespect for the holiness of life itself. For him, without the man, as its most intricate part and most important link, nature itself ceases to exist.Short text version
LETS PAINT NOW
Slobodan M. Stefanović
We feel the hand of the great expert on the paintings because Mića Trnavac knows anatomy and composition well... Confident hand leads this painter towords again new experiments, so as in some sequal story the same people and the same objects meet in their totaly new lives, in some other places together with their objects, coming to the art collector („ART COLLECTOR“, 1981) who with his back turned observes what Mića is doing. And we are seeking for symbolism of the unreal world that is painted on his canvases and that spins around in our heads as we are a part of some painting instead of the ballerina that starts making her pirouette (“BALLERINA”, 1994)
I would like to end with one sentence written by Mile Andre that was published in the “Daily News” in New York in December 1990 – This month is marked with the exhibition “In the Present Time” by creative genius Radovan Trnavac, better known as Mića and the opening in the new gallery “New Renaissance” at the West Broadway. Short text version
THE SENSE OF THE SOUL IS THOUGHT, AND I PAINT WHAT I THINK
He is being compared with a classic, with the greatest artists of the world. I counted somewhere that about 50 artists are in some way correlated with our Mica Trnavac. Fifty of them who belong to dream team, who represent the highest elevation point, who belong to permanent values.
Mica Trnavac establishes continuity with the most valuable painting ever since to this day. He is the one who knows what’s going on in the painting, so he is not an artist who does not know what was before. In this sense, his art is actually a continuation. It is no coincidence that figurative painting is present in his art. So, it`s surrealism and it’s realism. It is what our time is. Not as a determinant which is defined by the artist, but the artist is pulsed zeitgeist. And if by chance we are all gone and some people came to recognize this time, they would say: Well, this is the artist who stated his thoughts and finally painted those times.Short text version
INTERNATIONAL – NATIONAL
Radovan Trnavac Mica belongs to the generation of well-established artists and is one of those people fortunate enough to spend a significant portion of his life in the environment of the “great international world”. He has been lucky to witness the forces of ground-breaking movements which he partially adopted, but also managed to step away from them and essentially become a true representative of that precious combination between the international experience and long-valued tradition.Short text version
Official opening of the exhibition of paintings and objects by Radovan Trnavac Mića
”The Sense of the Soul is Thought, and I paint what I Think”
- The exhibition was opened by Professor Ratko Božović, who was a professor of Sociology of Art during the 70s at the University of Fine Arts in Belgrade. So, Mića was fortunate for Božović to be his professor. At the opening the Professor said:
”Mića Trnavac differed with joviality, speed and I noticed that he has been incorporated into modern times and that he will become a miracle! And we have got the miracle! Therefore, he belongs to those who are searching for themselves and who found themselves. Many were searching for inner self and they lost it. A poet would say, “I suffered the loss in a personal quest of myself”. This is not the case with Trnavac.
In a way, I followed all of his shows. I read more about it than I was personally present. More than thirty solo exhibitions... Believe me I have never met so many compliments. I am sometimes scared of compliments. Sometimes compliments are a part of lobbying, affection or some sort of one-way poetics or aesthetics. Then the question remains whether certain compliments are adequate. I must openly say right here right now that they were not wrong! Not those in Canada, nor those in America or even those in Valjevo, where Trnavac opened International Art Studio. And I have to say that there are few people who wherever they come they change things and also change things in themselves.
I noticed that our Mića Trnavac is searching for the perfect picture, the one picture where nothing more can be added or subtracted. However, it is important to me that he is on a constant rise. He does not stop. I saw that his drawings are fantastic; I saw that his green-blue color is adequate but I have seen also that he and knows how to reduce it, knows how to reduce it to one measure that is adequate compared to what is, if you like, an opinion about the painting.
He is being compared with a classic, with the greatest artists of the world. I counted somewhere that about 50 artists are in some way correlated with our Mića Trnavac Fifty of them who belong to dream tem, who represent the highest elevation point, who belong to permanent values.
Mića Trnavac establishes continuity with the most valuable painting ever since to this day. He is the one who knows what's going on in the painting, so he is not an artist who does not know what was before. In this sense, his art is actually a continuation. It is no coincidence that figurative painting is present in his art. So, it`s surrealism and it’s realism. It is what our time is. Not as a determinant which is defined by the artist, but the artist is pulsed zeitgeist. And if by chance we are all gone and some people came to recognize this time, they would say: Well, this is the artist who stated his thoughts and finally painted those times