Paxos Festival 2022
Images of Revelation
From 21 July to 14 August - Old School, Loggos, Paxos
Open daily 8:00 am-10:30 pm
Thursday, 21 July 2022 - 7:00-11:00 pm
Nikola Sarić was born in Bajina Bašta, in western Serbia in 1985 where he spent most of his childhood and early adolescence in a region of beautiful mountains, rivers and valleys before moving to Belgrade in 2000. He moved to Hanover, Germany, where he currently lives and works in 2011.
One of the most significant episodes of his youth was Sarić’s discovery of the awe-inspiring atmosphere and beauty of the medieval Byzantine frescos of the Studenica Monastery in Serbia, which he believes lie at the beginning of his spiritual journey. His apprenticeship in painting at the Faculty of Applied Arts of the University of Belgrade (2005-2006) and later at the Academy of the Serbian Orthodox Church for Arts and Conservation (2006-2014), gave the artist an intimate knowledge of classic and religious painting and honed the technical and stylistic skills which he would later bring to his own art. In his student days he was much inspired by his study of Early Christian and Coptic art as well as the Byzantine mosaics of Ravenna or of the Hosios Loukas monastery in Greece.
Since his graduation from art school Sarić has concentrated on art whose subject matter is taken from the New Testament in a series of cycles - Earthly Stories with Heavenly Meaning, Witnesses, Cycle of Life – which represent a personal spiritual and artistic journey. In these cycles Sarić appropriates the iconography and themes of the Parables of Jesus or the stories of Holy Martyrs of the Church and converts them into compositions whose wit, elegance and originality are all his own.
In his more recent work on view in Paxos - the cycles Glowing Darkness, Monuments, Winter Light – Sarić begins stepping away from recognizable references to religious iconography into emptier, more minimal compositions with a new intensity and depth in his handling of light and color. Like the veil of Veronica the light in these canvases acts both as curtain veiling yet simultaneously revealing a sacred image. Agnes Martin and James Turrell are among the artists Sarić believes have affected this new direction in his art, indicating also, the gradual shedding of his Orthodox roots since his move to Germany in 2011. The glowing light and deep spaces of the current work, further enhance the mystery and mystical resonance of the paintings, so that the spiritual thread that goes back to the epiphany of the Studenica Monastery remains unbroken to this day.