With the exhibition “Phantasms on Wheels” Nikola Kolja Bozovic shows the results of his artistic research in different aspects of automobiles as carriers of cultural and social connotations.
Besides the sculptures/objects developed by transforming original automobile parts, Bozovic also uses the form of artistic expression through spatial installation, placing his works in correlation with the gallery space imagined as virtual urban landscape, which he “decorates” with paintings that are not conceived as objects of autonomous visual expression, but as an accompanying visual instrument for artistic recapitulation of the idea of “automobility”, which the artist used in order to build a new fictitious world of personal phantasm. The gallery space becomes for Bozovic a field for manifestation of phantasms on forms of human products that create our environment, where the artist consciously transforms and changes the settled direction of movement of the real urban landscape. The next step in the process of experiencing the newly developed picture of urban landscape belongs to the viewer, who brings his own perception of each object at the very entrance to the gallery because he is being pulled into a unique setting and coming into interaction with the artworks he experiences a different static picture because he has a feeling of being in constant movement due to the inborn desire of men to move quickly through their surroundings.
In the art world of Nikola Kolja Bozovic the automobile does not represent a practical machine but an object of cult and fetish, a status symbol, a symbol of timeless artistic value, a magical and mystical machine. Bozovic’s creative endeavors are directed at “internal” questions, at the connection between the artwork and the world of consumer capitalism. The artist starts from recognizable objects-automobile parts that he transforms by exchanging their social role for the aesthetic one. Bozovic’s intention is to emphasize the “personality” of the objects by giving them anthropomorphic qualities: eyes (headlights), mouth (cooler), internal organs (carburetor), blood (fuel), skeleton (body). The emerged transformations of the objects symbolize notions and situations, in fact rituals developed between man and society that include consumption, fashion trends and collecting artworks and it is almost implied that they can, and often do, become a substitute for inter human relationships.
The automobile is present in the 20th century art as an object of artistic interest through classical visual media, but also through contemporary artistic practices. The idea of “automobility” inspired the members of the Futurist movement, who saw the automobile as the new ideal of beauty, while great interest was also exhibited by representatives of American pop art for whom the automobile represents a symbol of consumer society, while certain artists within the movement of Nouveau Realisme showed to which degree the world of automobiles could “mutate” into art.
Nikola Kolja Bozovic (1975) graduated and won his master’s degree at the Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade. Works at the same faculty as senior lecturer. Member and one of the founders of the HYPE Group and the Art of Reality Association. From 1999 starts exhibiting at independent and group exhibitions and collaborating with the Zvono Gallery, which presents him at international exhibitions and fairs of contemporary art in Vienna, Cologne and Moscow. Winner of the award for student drawing (1999), the Golden Palette award (2001) and White Angel (2001), as well as the honorary award Centro-periferia (the exhibition of eighteen selected young artists from the whole world, Federculure, Rome, 2007). Winner of The Pollock – Krasner Foundation scholarship (2011). Member of the Association of Visual Arts of Serbia. His works can be found in the RADIX collection in Belgrade, at the Belgrade City Museum, at the Borusan Collection in Istanbul etc.
Curator: Mišela Blanuša M.A.