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emotions and jazz portraits

Reunion Oh you silly grandpa Does it have to hurt? Untitled Untitled II Not true! Charlize Theron

Through portraits I tried to explore the problems of the social status of today’s society. By combining all the graphic elements – connecting the lines, dashes, smudges and their mutual contrast – we receive pure linearity, and, if we add the effect of shadow, and black and white to those elements we can achieve voluminousness – plasticity and the three-dimensional effect. This can also be achieved by using the eraser with which we can soften the fullness of the lines. Therefore, I opted for a realistic approach to portraits, so as to achieve an authentic visual impact.


A moment with Mr. Cotton 70x100cm charcoal on paper 2014. (2) Gloria Gaynor Oh Billie Play it Miles 47x57cmcharcoal on paper 2013. Wycliffe G 45x57cm charcoal on paper 2013.

The series of drawings of jazz musicians and singers is an attempt to merge music and the art of drawing. My artistic work has been dedicated to painting portraits before this series of drawings. However, by all odds, this “series of photographs becomes a whole that breathes on its own”. It is evident that what makes that whole compact is jazz music, that is, its performers. What I want to portray is the tension, the focus and the dedication to music that jazz musicians transfer to the audience with such ardour, as do art pieces. The chosen leitmotif has enabled me to merge music and painting into one unique artistic experience. Using black and white nuances to depict the expressiveness of musicians who in that portrayed moment produce tones, the ceremonious atmosphere and the importance of that performance offered quite a challenge, because their portraits are in fact the visual representation of the tones that create. That’s where their reflectiveness lies. Therefore, I consider it an art of sound impulses that are transferred on to paper.

Jazz portraits were recently presented to wider audience in The Brick Lane Gallery, London, UK.

Nebojša Slankamenac