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Jana Danilović - Silent Rebellion: Street Talks

Meet a young Serbian artist skilled in wall painting and street art who provokes us to collectively rethink universal truth

· Sketchbook Station,Artists

After several months of featured articles on young European artists, we present you the last participant of Association Prism’s Sketchbook Station project. As a final delight, we give you one of the most active and prominent Serbian artists in the field of wall painting and street art.

Jana Danilović was in 1989 in Užice (Serbia). She finished her Bachelor’s and Master’s studies in wall painting at Faculty of Philology and Arts in Kragujevac (Serbia), currently she pursues a doctorate at Belgrade’s Faculty of Applied Arts. Also, she works as an assistant on the course Methodology of Teaching Art Education at Teacher’s Faculty in Užice. Until now, she has had ten solo exhibitions and around 50 collective exhibitions in her homeland and abroad. As well, she has made several dozen murals and interventions in public spaces in Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Greece.

She does street art, murals and drawings. Belgrade is her place of residence. M.C. Escher, H.R. Giger, Matisse, Niki de Saint Phalle, Pussy Riot, Kathe Kollwitz and Space Invaders are just a part of a diverse spectrum of authors and artistic expressions that influenced the formation of Jana Danilović’s artistic expression. It is their artworks that motivated the young artist to ponder over issues she has been taking for granted. From old masters to punk bands, there were individuals whose performance made Jana to question certain facts and reach conclusions useful for her own work. At first sight, art of these authors doesn’t have a common ground with Jana’s work, but there are links underneath the surface, i.e. in the field of ideas.

Line is the basic tool of expression in the work of Jana Danilović, drawing being the ground and starting point of her every work, whether it is a smaller format on paper or a starting idea in the form of a sketch that will eventually grow into a monumental wall mural. Starting from a basic drawing, Jana likes to elaborate ideas by using matrices. She cuts her drawings from cardboard in order to achieve rhythmic play by repetition of forms that she subsequently enriches with the technique of aquarelle and by using acryl. Alongside matrices, Jana often reproduces her drawings to use them in combination with matrices and acryl – forming new drawings at the spot. The artist primarily explores the possibilities of materials such as paper, paste, acryl, India ink or spray; while color has a secondary role and serves only to occasionally emphasize details.

Jana Danilović find inspiration in day to day conversations and in reflecting situations and problems she regularly faces. Usually, the topics materialize in a series of drawings that afterwards get transformed into murals or street art interventions in space. Drawing, as a visual tool of universal language understandable to everyone, has arisen as the author’s natural expression.

Through her artworks, Jana questions the individual’s role in society, who – being stretched between conformism and rebellion – fights for his/her ideals on everyday basis. In her work, Jana Danilović uses well known and easily understandable symbols to tell a story or comment on common topics that concern all of us. Sometimes it’s a joyful remark and sometimes it’s a grumbling comment; but they always pertain to that which transcends author’s personal life and enters the field of universality. Jana finds an impulse to create in the curiosity of what kind of feedback could be triggered by an artwork in the making. The aim of her creative expression is to encourage sincere – sometimes even uneasy, but always essential – reflection and feedback of the observer.

In her artwork for Sketchbook Station, Jana deals with questioning personal priorities in our time. While the media promote and impose upon us everything pretty, shiny, artificial and shallow as success formula, at the other hand, they mist our view and remove our attention from real problems of contemporary humans. So, while we embellish ourselves to meet up to expectations by building nice facades that demonstrate our youth and good looks, live in a nice house, have the latest phone and a powerful car; at the other hand, we hide the fact that we are more unemployed and lonelier than ever and that our fellow citizens search the skips in order to survive… Through her work, Jana Danilović experiments with the vision of beauty and combines it with the motive that symbolizes the opposite of everything beautiful and attractive, thereby inciting in the observer simultaneously adverse feelings of attraction and disgust towards the observed. With a constructive line of India ink, Jana has created a very classic and decorative drawing – canceling its beauty with a layer of repulsive flies made using a matrix and with minimal use of colors. The artwork’s message is very symbolic, truly ironic and strong in its expression: Look what sweetness can attract onto itself.

At the end of our last article, we ask you perhaps the most important question of all: What is your meaning of life? Have you set your priorities as you wanted or have you succumbed to delusions of imposed fake values daily promoted by the media?

You can find out more about art of Jana Danilović at:



And finally, we thank you for staying with us through this virtual representation of artistic souls who participate in Sketchbook Station project by Association Prism. You are warmly invited to remind yourself once again of presented artists and, in September, we expect you at the final exhibition where you will be able to see all participants’ artworks – that we were announcing, describing and only partially revealing in order to lure you into the exhibition opening.

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