Meet the People

18 Jan 2019, 20:33 PM

January 18, 2019 - Ivica Arandus (Ivica Ivo Arandjus) is an academic painter from Tivat, who started his artistic career at the end of the 80s when he moved from Tivat to Düsseldorf, Germany. Today, Arandus enjoys acclamation among his colleagues, but he is also extremely well received by the audience, which has the chance to see his works at numerous solo and collective exhibitions across Europe. We succeed to meet him in Tivat before he goes back to Düsseldorf to close two of his exhibitions which opened in December.

Did art take Arandus to Germany, or did he discover his artistic gift by moving to Düsseldorf?

"I have to say that I just left, I did not go for a career, not even in art. Already as a child, I felt some pressure, some urge to get out of here. There was always some beautiful world in my head somewhere else. I always, when it came to September, looked sorrowfully for people who went to Germany or some other country. I looked at them sadly, as if they were birds moving to the south, and I wanted to go with them. While they were here, they were always nice; they always laughed, were happy, unlike many of our people. In my case, it created the illusion that somewhere there was a much happier and better world," explains Arandus.
 
As he says, arriving in Düsseldorf, he wondered if he had come to that glamorous and cheerful world. It took him several years to realise that people everywhere, even in Germany, are in a great struggle for existence, and have to work all year long to enjoy a few weeks when they will be free, happy, relaxed.
 
"That knowledge was a bit of a disappointment for me. But, it was no disappointment with the state as a state. Even today, after more than 30 years, I still like Germany when it comes to the system, infrastructure, architecture, especially literature and art," says the painter, who began education initially in a completely different sphere. Arandus first thought he would deal with electronics. How did this personal transformation occur?
 
"My interest in electronics is due to the fascination of Nikola Tesla, who I was introduced to already as a child. I watched the movie about Tesla and then started reading about this great scientist. I came in resonance with him that he somehow determined my initial professional orientation. So I went to Sarajevo and started education in electronics. When I started to deal with my job, I realised that, just like a chess game, I feel happy while the game lasts. But as soon as I stopped working, I felt empty; there was no sound in me. It is only art that has succeeded in causing me a sense of fulfilment, a sense of wholeness. Comparatively with the rings - dealing with art, and after I cease to work, the echo of my work, the image that I work on, and the inspiration that made me do, has taken me a long time."
 
arandus 1
 
How hard was it to find his artistic path in an entirely new environment, among foreigners, in a foreign language, in the situation where the competition is vast and strong? It seems that for Ivica Arandus, when it comes to art, there have never been barriers.
 
"I have to say that it has never been hard for me because my fascination with art always led me. Art always preoccupied me that I often forgot a man had to work to earn to live and survive. I studied art at the Academy of Art in Dusseldorf in the class of Professor Michael Buthe. Already during my studies, I made exhibitions, and I never had the problem of selling some of my drawings or pictures. I have to admit that it was not difficult for me either during the studies or later when I started to be more serious about painting. But my approach to painting has always been serious. Initially, they declared me crazy; to people, it was not clear why I was not dealing with electronics, which could provide me with a good existence. Then they realised that it is normal for an artist because the artist could not live without his love and fascination with art."
 
arandus 8Although Arandus calls his poetics socio-critical, the first thing that the observer notices when accessing his work is the almost ever-present figure of a woman.
 
"A woman is a widespread motif in my paintings, but in essence, there is a great scene that has nothing to do with a woman. I respect a woman so much that I would hang on erotic or some sexual object. I'm playing with the figure of a woman, but dealing with topics that catch me. Religion, politics, and eroticism - the boundaries between these spheres have almost disappeared. When I do some critical picture on finance, I come again to eroticism - everything is seductively packed. Financial subjects are so attractively presenting their actions or some financial packages to attract people to deceive them. Logic is not much different than when it comes to pure eroticism. People get the impression that they have a chance to profit, and the goal is completely different in favour of the bidder. So, in the eroticisation of politics, finance, even religions, there is always a symbol of women. That is why the symbol of a woman is a metaphor, which I often include in my paintings," explains Ivica Arandus.
 
arandus 2
 
As a socio-critical artist, Arandus, through his works, dealing with the topics of religion, politics, economics and the military industry, succeeds in the artist's mission to play the map of thoughts and emotions, inspires audiences to observe reality and question the limits of their freedom critically.
 
"I've been painting for almost 30 years, and I'm sure that within the time I have formed some inner structure that I keep and constantly upgrading. I think freedom is our great illusion. An even greater illusion is a democracy, I would call it a demo-dictate of today. For my notion, we can build freedom only within ourselves. I think this is a form of being of every man- to be built up as a person, to have self-awareness about his knowledge and spiritual construction, to open his perception, to be critical of what is happening in society. I do not believe in democracy in the way we present it. The illusion is that the kind of democracy we know goes in favour of people. Every political system always has and everywhere went hand in hand to a minority that manages, no country has so far dealt with its inhabitants. No power, no big company ever cares about its employees, but their profit. The same principle works for the state."
 
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A good artist communicates with the audience in a way that inspires reflection and exhilarates feelings. At the same time, the most powerful means of manipulating people through history were those that affected cognition and emotions. In this sense, the Catholic Church is one of the longest and most influential organisations when it comes to broad masses. Arandus has dedicated the whole cycle of his work to the critique of the Catholic Church, and this cycle has caused the highest interest of the audience, especially in Germany.
 
arandus 3"Surprisingly, the series you're talking about is the best selling of all the thematic series I've been working on so far. I'm still working on it, and I cannot escape this subject because it keeps inspiring me. These are very critical images, but even strong Catholic families in Germany bought those paintings, which I could not believe. They are much more open than eastern countries, such as Poland and the countries of our region. Even in Italy, people are quite critical of the church. The Pope has recently released all bishops in Argentina. In Chicago, the church released about 900 priests for child abuse. In France, there is a trial against one of the major cardinals. Courts generally defend the hierarchy. If there is no pressure from the public, that there are no people to oppose it, it would all be stuffed and still unknown. In Germany there were over 2000 applications, which will ultimately lead to civilian courts. Until now, that was not possible, even the police did not have access to the church. Now it is slowly starting to go globally, people all over the world are slowly rising and retreating. Therefore, it is certain that the Church is one of the themes that will continue to be present in my creation because in my paintings I will continue to deal with the transgression of the spirit and illusions of man. There are certainly good things in religion, but there are also huge scams and exploitation of the population," says Arandus about one of his significant occupations in art.
 
arandus 6Although living and creating most of the time in Düsseldorf, Arandus is present in the art scene of Montenegro, where he has had several solo exhibitions in recent years. He also finds time to socialise with colleagues and occasionally participates in art colonies. Asked how to evaluate the position of artists in Montenegro and the Montenegrin art scene, Arandus answers:
 
"My opinion is that there are good artists in Montenegro, but there is no system of support for art and artists. There are missing good galleries and museums, which deal with artworks a bit more seriously. Mostly art falls into commercialism; images serve to decorate a space. I do not have anything against flowers and boats, but it can do to have a spiritual note. As the tone has a beautiful colour, so the picture has a nice sound. I guess that art is so commercialised here. The fact is that art cannot be without sales, artworks have to be sold to let the artist live and continue to create. But there have to be some line artists would not go over.
 
arandus 5In Germany there is a huge competition, only in Dusseldorf, there are over a thousand painters. And there are maybe thirty galleries with where the artist can seriously work. But there are a lot of museums. I think it is needed to feel the competition in a positive sense. It is the competition that motivates you, which gives you the wings to do more and better. The situation is different in our country. I have countless times heard when asking for the price of the picture, so people comment that they can buy a car for that money. Still, the people in our country are more committed to investing in a status symbol, something that other people can see. You buy a picture and exhibit it in your home, and it does not have that effect. The same is with literature. When you read a good book, this is something that is good for you, although not transparent to others," the artist says. 
 
"It is striking that in Germany more people visit museums than football stadiums. So art attracts more attention than football matches, which is almost unthinkable to us. When they come to bigger cities, tourists rush into museums because those are places where they can recognise the spiritual state of a nation. It is sad that the guests who come to us we can show only beaches and buildings. It is sad that every city does not have a large and representative gallery, where visitors could see how people are feeling here, how they are watching their world and the world at all. I think it is important for every society - to make its artists and their art accessible to citizens and visitors."
 
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In 2004, Arandus presented a valuable collection of artwork by painters and sculptors from all over the world who gave their works to his hometown, supporting his idea of providing such a gift to the city as an opportunity to establish a museum of contemporary art. The "Düsseldorf to Tivat" collection will soon get its permanent address.
 
"These are the works of artists from all the meridians - from Africa, India, Asia, America, Russia, Japan, from different countries in Europe. My idea with that donation was to use it as the cornerstone of the future museum of contemporary art so that people get the chance to be informed and inspired by the contemporary flow of culture and art. So far, the public could see those works in the Tivat's gallery. I hope that this year, the municipality and responsible culture institutions will keep their promise and provide representative space for this valuable collection, so that my idea finally begin to live," said Ivica Arandus, one of the most successful Montenegrin artists on the international scene.
 
22 Nov 2018, 13:13 PM
November 22, 2018 - Dora Štampić, a 13-year girl from Tivat, the student of Elementary School Drago Milović and Tivat Music School, has again shown remarkable success at the regional festival of young talents.  With the song "Child is an Important Man" which premiered in September at the Angel Voice Festival in Belgrade, she performed last weekend at the 8th MEDEMUS Fest "Otvoreno srce“ (“Open Heart"), an international festival of young talents organized by the Multimedia Center in Tutin, Serbia, and she won the first prize.
 
At the festival, 16 performers from Bulgaria, Macedonia, Montenegro, Croatia, and Serbia competed. Apart from the first prize for interpretation, Dora Štampić, with her friend Tara Petrović from Tivat, was also awarded the stage performance.
 
dora štampić
 
For this young lady, every performance at a festival is an opportunity to meet new friends, as well as to establish new contacts. Thus, she says, the stay in Tutin brought her an offer to participate as a special guest at the International Festival "ABANICO" - Festival of popular music and dance, to be held from 22-24 March 2019 in Sofia, Bulgaria, organized by the Artvoices Music Association, sponsored by the Department of Education of the Spanish Embassy in Bulgaria and the mayor of Sofia.
 
dora štampić 2Dora is grateful to the art team, who signs her sixth song “A child is an Important Man.“ 
"Tode Nikoletić wrote the text, Ognjan Cvekić signs the arrangement, and Dijana Bogićević composed the music," explains Dora. Montenegrin composers and children's pedagogues Frenki and Dijana Bogićević are her teachers of singing since the beginnings of music engagement, and Dora owes them the most gratitude for the successes she has gained since 2014.
 

Dora Štampić Already Has Six Songs

 
This young Tivat talent has performed at the most important festivals for children organized in Montenegro – “Naša radost“ (“Our Joy“) in Podgorica and “Zlatna pahulja“ (“Golden Snowflake“) in Rožaje. But she has also come to many festivals in the region: “Školjkice u plavom“ ("Shells in Blue") in Novi Sad, the festival “Dok Lašva teče“ ("While flowing Lašva") in Novi Travnik in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the famous Zagreb children's festival "Zlatna frula" (“Golden Flute“), and the “Angel Voice“ youth festival in Belgrade.
 
dora štampić 5Also, no children's event in Tivat and Kotor passes without Dora's participation, and for the second year in a row, she also participated in the accompanying program of the Festival of Children's Theater Kotor. Calls are coming all the time and from the other parts of Montenegro. Also, as a representative of the Tivat Music School, Dora Štampić often performs at national competitions of music schools' students.
 
The songs "Babaroga," “Najljepši san“ ("The Most Beautiful Dream"), “Dobrodošlica“ ("Welcome"), “Čik pogodi“ ("Guess if You Can“), "Ljuboples" have made Dora Stampić very popular among peers. She does not personally think that she is special and important because she recognized her talents. She says that all children can be successful in what they like if they are lucky enough to recognize and support their talents. She remembers that her music story was initially attributed to Ružica Lazarević, now Director of the Elementary School Drago Milović. Dora was a trainee of her School for talents, and thanks to her started Dora's cooperation with Dijana and Frenki Bogićević, where her first song "Babaroga" was born.
 
"It is early to know what I will deal with when I grow up. For now, I enjoy singing and socializing and traveling that music is bringing to me. At the moment I think that when I grow up, I would like to be an actress. That profession includes many things I enjoy, " says Dora Štampić, who was on the scene for the first time with just three years, as the youngest majorette dancer of the Fashion-dance Club "Modest" from Tivat.
 
02 Oct 2018, 12:17 PM

October 2, 2018 - Neuropsychologist Ivica Hausmeister started his medical career in Tivat about 30 years ago. It took him to the UK, where he's been running a successful private practice for more than two decades. But, medicine is not the only sphere of his interest. Dr. Hausmeister also deals with astrophysics, and his book "Journey Through Time" aims to acquaint this area with the unprofessional public.

04 Aug 2018, 14:26 PM

August 4, 2018 – Montenegrins are famous for their height, so it’s logical to expect a number of basketball players to come from this region. Young and talented Montenegrin power forward Bojan Subotić who played last season for BC Kalev, Estonia shares his story with TMN.

28 Jul 2018, 15:41 PM

July 28, 2018 – I live in Tivat downtown and there has been some changes recently on my street. A new café under my balcony and a new boutique on the opposite side have opened their doors this season and I noticed that the owners don’t speak the local language. A nearby restaurant seems to be rented and is also run by the foreigners. Who are these new entrepreneurs of Montenegro?

11 Jul 2018, 20:48 PM

July 11, 2018 - An American with Balkan origins, retired as a member of the US Army, Mary Borojevich has been devoted to various projects to help children and young people with disabilities in the area of the Balkans for 18 years. She started her mission in the USA, continued in Serbia, and then in Bosnia and Herzegovina. For two years now, Mary has been working in Montenegro, which she has chosen for her new address.

28 Jun 2018, 06:37 AM

June 28, 2018 - Andrej Nikolaidis was born in 1974 in Sarajevo to a mixed Montenegrin-Greek family. Until the age of six, he lived in the city of Ulcinj, where he returned in 1992 after the war in Bosnia erupted. Since 1994, he has written for regional independent and liberal media, as well as for cultural magazines. He is considered by many to be one of the most influential intellectuals of the younger generation in the region, known for his anti-war activism and for his promotion of the rights of minorities.

 

23 Jun 2018, 13:56 PM

June 23, 2018 - Tivat's painter Vladimir Jovićević builds his professional career in Florence, where he paints and teaches at the prestigious Florence Academy of Art. This very productive painter show his talent early, when he started to study drawing and painting in the Drawing and Painting School, under the auspices of the Tivat Culture Center. Today, his paintings can be found in private collections all over the world.

23 Jun 2018, 09:00 AM

June 23, 20181 - Balša Brković is a Montenegrin writer, essayist and theatre critic. He is also the editor of the cultural section of daily newspaper Vijesti.

 

17 Jun 2018, 13:36 PM

The Tourism Organization of Kotor Executive Director, Ana Nives Radović, is the very first Montenegrin Fin Tech author, financial analyst and author of the "Dividing by Zero" scientific project. She is also an amateur painter, exhibiting all around the world, giving all the money from selling her art works for humanitarian purposes. How she finds time for painting, we don't know, since she managed to succeed in a lot of various professional fields.

06 Jun 2018, 20:36 PM

Mrs. Wright, the former Olga Ivanovna Lazović, was born in Cetinje. She was the granddaughter of Marko Miljanov, a duke, and general, the man behind the "čojstvo i junaštvo," national motto of Montenegrins.

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