Pedja Djaković is a Prague based artist born in 1964 in Derventa, ex-Yugoslavia. After completing his secondary education in Belgrade, he obtained his academic degree at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague with specialization in painting. His professors where academic painters Pospíšil and Sopko, so it is no wonder Prague attracted him through the prism of what he defined as "surrealism of Kafka's books".
Djaković's energy and passion for his country combined with his formal training and knowledge of history and mythology produced emotional compositions reflecting his temperament and echoing the volatile history of the former Yugoslavia. His subjects have ranged from political themes, including the Holocaust, the disasters of communism, the Balkan wars, through the world of jazz music to his passionate love cycles. He demonstrates deep understanding of the expressive methods of literary metaphors while painting sequences of ideas and situations not necessarily in literary contexts, but rather through the elusive logic of dreams and illusions.
The style of his work oscillates between neo-cubism and poetic expressionism. Figural motifs, historical scenes and musical atmosphere are expressed through symbolical shapes. The images reflect the emotional tension revealing the artist's dynamic personality and his own grasp of the reality.
Pedja’s preferred painting techniques are acrylic on canvas, fresco, watercolor, ink and combined technique of applying stucco-like pigment on fabric. He is also well-versed in sculpting and creating installations using vast array of materials.
I like to paint things that I experience without faking anything. My mind is not set on fulfilling any expectations through my paintings but just expressing myself. I also try to stay away from too much social media as it is possible to get distracted by all the digital noise. Although a lot of amazing inspiration could derive from contemporary tendencies, it is at the same time easy to be influenced by other artists’ artworks, especially when you’re trying to find a voice of your own and be true to yourself.
While using the social media with a grain of salt, I would especially recommend spending more time studying the Old Masters.
I try to sketch every day whenever possible. The subject is not relevant, it is more about practicing with pen and paper and improving visual and motor skills.
Such daily practice is crucial in gaining inspiration for your art. You never really see something until you try to draw it. Putting in the hours in studying is the only way to improve as an artist and by working in the studio every day you’ll find that you don’t have to worry about the inspiration at all. It will come by itself.
When something catches your attention, take a moment and try to analyze what that "thing" is. Is it the translucency of a curtain in the breeze? The pattern of a tight weave? The shapes within the shadow of a tree? If you can isolate what it is (and it may be more than one thing); you are well on your way to re-creating an amazing moment in time. This is where your new powerful ideas can come from as your emotions are being transformed into an image.
It is also my compulsion to paint that gets me through the fear factor. I can't help it. If this is the case for you too, then embrace the insanity and celebrate your diversity.
It doesn't matter if you paint like Pollock or Rembrandt, there will always be people commenting on your work. Appreciation of art is very subjective. The most important thing is how YOU feel about it.
Daily practice also includes reading books and comics and watching movies, especially the artistic ones that are an interesting source of inspiration and visual nourishment. Then there is music! Everybody loves music. I like classical music and above all I like to listen to JAZZ, especially while I am painting. It helps me calm my thoughts and it opens the channels of intuition and deeper feelings.... and most importantly lets the LOVE in!
1986 Terezín, Main prize
1988 Academy of Fine Arts, Prize for painting
1995 Prague T. G. Masaryk Akademy of Arts, Special prize for painting 95
1996 Salvador Dalí Club Prague, Salvador Dalí Prize for the year 1996
1997 European circle of Franz Kafka
2018 Awarded the title of Knight by Laza Kostić Foundation
2018 Gold medal of Kulturno-prosvetna zajednica Srbije (Cultural and Educational Association of Serbia)