Nebojsa Zdravkovic is a creative artist of powerful temperament,
noted for his precise drawing skills and dynamic and expressive
colour range. Born in Belgrade in 1959, he trained in the
best art schools and graduated with a Masters Degree. He is
now a member of the Association of Serbian Fine Artists. He
was granted a scholarship by the Spanish government for post-graduate
studies in Madrid and has won many prizes for his work in
his own country and abroad.
His work has been exhibited in countless group exhibitions
and he has had several solo shows in London and at various
venues across Europe. His paintings are strikingly original
examples of modern Impressionism. He paints mainly from life
and is captivated by the play of light on his subjects and
His paintings have a unique brilliance and atmosphere that
makes them highly desirable and much sought after by serious
collectors of fine art.
The Adonis Art Gallery has been proud to stage three of
his latest London exhibitions and due to the overwhelming
amount of interest we are now looking forward to Nebojsa’s
fourth successful show in February 2008.
Interview – Nebojsa Zdravkovic
@ Adonis Art Gallery 2008
An exhibition of your work is taking
place at Adonis Art London. What can we expect?
Although oils are my forte, this year my focus
will be also on pastels, watercolours and drawings. I am looking
forward to working with Stewart Hardman of Adonis Art again
as he is a man with a keen eye and great aesthetic sensitivity.
So, how would you describe your style?
Although I would think of it as figurative
art with elements of neocubism, I prefer to leave qualifications
to art istorians.
What are you trying to achieve in the
My visual perception of real objects is through
abstract relation of form and colour. In my more recent works
I am trying, on one hand to simplify the image using broad
brushstrokes and on the other to produce a minant colour experience
using hues that sit next to each other on the colour wheel.
The paintings are full of bold brush strokes
and natural settings. Is nature important to your life and
Of course it is. I have been spending a lot
of time in Greece and the Mediterranean. Their colours and
landscapes have strongly influenced my work.
And what about water? Groups of men playing
in water or steam rooms also feature.
It is a challenge to preserve the rush of
water using broad brushstrokes.
The paintings are undoubtedly erotic but
they also have a soft edged style that adds romanticism. What’s
so appealing about this contradiction?
I do not find it to be a contradiction. The
ideas and motives of Romanticism can be quite erotic too.
Just remember Delacroix, the most important of the French
Romantic painters; some of his paintings are very erotic.
The male Adonis is evident in your work,
but is this the type of man you go for in real life?
Real life brings up other values which are
often more important than the physical look.
So, how do you find your models?
Frequently models are my friends. However,
it is not uncommon to find a model in a local shop or café.
What is it about the naked male body rather
than a clothed one that you find so attractive to paint?
The naked human body is a great visual challenge
and it always intrigued artists, from Ancient Greece and the
Renaissance to Modern Art. With the right combination of circumstances
at a given time the same form can invoke erotic feelings or
feelings of profound awe and respect.
As an example, in Michelangelo’s sculpture
Pieta the grace and refinement of the figure of Christ with
a quality that is almost Greek in its celebration of the absolute
perfection of the male nude has the same excitement in treatment
as the Virgin’s draperies.
Okay, so where do you stand on the whole
‘gay art’ label. Is it a necessary genre of art
or redundant ghettoising of painting in general?
‘Gay art’ sounds a bit claustrophobic
to me. It reminds me also of the expression “weekend
painter”. You are either artist or not. Such subdivisions
sound very exclusive and I do not see myself as a gay artist.
Nude males are not the only subject in my work.
What’s the biggest cliché
about gay art?
You already mentioned ‘ghettoizing’.
To me that is the
biggest problem. Art as a conscious creation or arrangement
of colours, forms and other elements can effect a sense of
beauty even though being executed in various ways. I have
to mention Michelangelo again here. Now knowing details from
his private life, should we characterize him as a gay artist?
Would the Sistine Chapel be ‘gay art’?
You've been creating pictures for quite
a while now. How has art changed during this time?
For me the mystery is still in colours. For
years I have been aiming to perfect subtle hues of analogous
colours and to do that I am more and more turning away from
naturalism toward something that you might call assemblage,
giving abstract elements to real object sources.
And finally, what are your plans for the
I enjoy exploring colours and I am looking
forward, after returning from London, to continuing my experimentations
with the male portrait and painting male bodies.