Interviews | December 3, 2022 |

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Image courtesy of Bokiki

Interview: Bokiki
Luca Curci
talks with Bokiki during the LONDON CONTEMPORARY 2022 – 5TH EDITION, at THE LINE Contemporary Art Space.

BOKIKI is a digital art collaboration of Irena Vujanovic and Bojan Jovanovic. Artistic project began in 1993, when two artist Irena Vujanovic and Bojan Jovanovic met by coincidence in Rio de Janeiro where Bojan was studying Visual Arts. Both of the artist come from the same city of Belgrade and left at the same time following the breakup of Yugoslavia; Irena moved to Chicago, while Bojan left for Brazil and later moved to New York. While Irena’s career was at the University connected with science and art simultaneously, Bojan on the other hand became involved with international caricature connected with New York Times. By an accident or perhaps fate two of them got reunited in Chicago of 2015, and soon after “Bokiki Art” was born. The experience of two artists working together and caching the mutual inspirational momentum  from the start is helping them to be more assure of the consistency of the final result.

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Image courtesy of Bokiki

Luca Curci – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
Bokiki –
Over the last couple of years, our approach has changed. Staying at home in Chicago during Covid surely affected our artistic practice. Communication changed, life changed, and we felt lost in a new setting. It was not an easy task to be patient and wait to get back into a normal working schedule. Since then, our art got more introspective, simultaneously seeking an understanding of, and contemplating solutions for a world in crisis.

LC – What are you currently working on? 
B –
Our current focus is termed “relativism and reconnection”. We always understood the importance of interaction “face to face”, and the urgency to reconnect with each other and our surroundings. We were not happy with virtual exhibits; we were longing to exhibit also at the galleries.

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Image courtesy of Bokiki

LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme? 
B –
The theme varies, and our approach is changing based on our impression of the experiences we feel and share daily, Bokiki art is influenced by collectivist causes. Pandemics, wars, climate change, and displaced people are subjects of Bokiki’s art since we as artists have experienced them first-hand.

LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
B –
Bokiki art was in general concerned with the radical simplicity of geometric forms.  Irena always has had a constructivist tendency toward purism, which is absent in the destructive of Bojan’s work.  These influences are being largely demolished and reconstructed over the years in digital Bokiki art giving a new artistic voice. Some viewers are calling us “street artists” since we have a similar approach and
expression as they do. Though there is some truth in this, we would rather be seen as “screen artists”. What we produced gets created, and it is viewed on a screen. The process is similar, we are just using different graphic tools and surfaces when we communicate to our audience.

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Image courtesy of Bokiki

LC – Which art themes do you pursue?
B –
The theme of our art is “resetivism and reconnection”. Now we are less direct and more subtle with our messages than before. We leave the spectators to form their own conclusions. Our art is more positive, giving a possible solution, rather than an early warning.

LC -What is your preferred subject if there is any?
We do not have a preferred subject, but a “preferred” approach, which is hopefully recognizable as consistent with our thoughts. This creative process gives the definition of the subject in the end.  It gives an artistic stamp.

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Image courtesy of Bokiki

LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
B –
Inspiration is everywhere. It is unexpected, sometimes blistering, sometimes not. It is a moment in everyday life, which affects us in one way or another. It may come from the daily news, from people in love or conflict, happy or sad, from war or peace, from beautiful or destroyed nature.

LC – How do you choose your subjects? Is it a reasoned or an instinctive process? 
B –
For us funding, a subject is an instinctive process. We usually work on multiple art projects in parallel, but they often end up connected. Due to our artistic expression, we sometimes end up where we did not intend to go. Often our art goes through a complete reconstruction resulting in a new image which symbolically explains and talks about the presence we live in.

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Image courtesy of Bokiki

LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists? 
B –
ITSLIQUID GROUP is great for any artist to get feedback, support and be represented, and show their art which is carefully curated for an open-minded public in an interesting, created gallery setting.

LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?  What do you think about ITSLIQUID platform?
B –
Cooperating with ITSLIQUID over several years was such a wonderful experience. 
ITSLIQUID’s platform is great. It was a great pleasure working with its curators.

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Image courtesy of Bokiki
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Image courtesy of Bokiki
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Image courtesy of Bokiki

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