Back to top

Milena Ivanović

“The imaginary is what tends to become real.” André Breton

Milena Ivanović was born in 1996 in Belgrade.  

After graduating from the High School of Design (graphic designer), he enrolled in basic academic studies at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade in 2015 (educational profile - painting). She graduated in 2019 in the class of full professor Dobirca Bisenić. She completed her master's studies at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade in 2020 in the class of full professor Dobrica Bisenić. He won a scholarship from the Dositej Fund for Young Talents.

Battle of POLO’s

These works were created as a result of research into the external and intimate world. Both consist of a certain type of conflict and that is why this series of collages is called "Battle of POLO’s".
The inner conflict represents the artist's need/desire for beautiful, modern, and branded fashion items while on the opposite side lies the recognition that this need is extremely superficial. The result of this conflict is a constant feeling of guilt. Is this guilt justified and can it be avoided? If the world considers some fashion items as a work of art (which some of them truly are), does that make it more tolerable to invest money in them? Since she can’t afford marvelous creations by Oscar De La Renta or Christian Dior, Milena Ivanović chose exactly the opposite - a basic “POLO shirt” and focused on brands that are famous for making them questioned whether the mentioned superficiality will gain some depth if he uses these clothes to create her own, other art. The logos of these brands are placed in the landscapes that the artist designed from the current collections of the mentioned brands, using photos of clothes from official websites.


What is the language in common for the young people today?

I see the common language of young people most clearly through the energy with which we approach the treatment of a certain topic. It seems that we are all driven by a greater or lesser dose of the need to change, comment and criticize today. Of course, this need is natural and present in the majority of the elderly population, but that is exactly why I single out energy as a noticeable difference in the creativity of young people. In that case, common language is anything but concrete language - it is a way of thinking, often direct and devoid of superfluous philosophies, fast, clever and colored by a dose of sarcasm and wit typical of the mind that is constantly looking for ways to cope with healthy, creative and productive everyday life.

What does the process of making one of your pieces look like?

I listen to myself, I try to distinguish the topics that really touch me from those that manage to do it superficially. Once recognized, the topic then requires additional research from me, and in the process, the visual work itself is gradually formulated. The process of realization of the work itself is under the charge of current energy, and if I do not have the conditions for its realization at a given moment, there is a high probability that I will not return to it - now or never - another feature of impatient and young character.

Which challenges have you faced while making art as you know it?

I think the bigger challenge is what to do after creating that "art". I will be completely honest and say that apart from some challenges of a technical nature, I generally do not find any other kind, perhaps precisely because the whole process of creation is intuitive and I plan to keep it that way.

Do you consider yourself an artist, and what does that word mean to you?

Today, the term "artist" is shrouded in thick fog and I can't define it. Yes, I am an artist because I paint, draw, create, and for most people who do not deal with this vocation, this information is enough to give us this title. However, this word has long since begun to encompass practices that are by no means close to me, and that is why I have the reluctance to declare myself as one of the "artists".

What is your escape from reality? Do you even have a need to escape from something?

My reality is really not unhappy, but the need to escape is certainly present and becomes less only when I create, make, sing, play and when I am in the company of dear people - they make the better side of reality.

What does the word innovative mean to you?

I would define innovation as constantly searching for and finding new ways to upgrade my own (artistic) expression.

Do you have a plan for the future? Where can your artistic practice take you?

My plans for the future often sound to me as if they were made by a ten-year-old girl who keeps the citizenships of most European countries under her bed, while in the meantime, who knows how many times she watches Woody's "Midnight in Paris". Imagination aside, there is no concrete plan, but a scenario in which the works presented at the Youth Biennale launch me into Lacoste headquarters to design posters for their marketing campaigns would be very, very welcome.

What made the biggest influence on you to become what you are today and do what you do now?

A childhood filled with people who were professionally engaged in art, but also those who admired it from the side, reading, listening and watching. Since elementary school, I have been determined "what I want to be when I grow up" and that desire has not changed.

How would you describe Serbian (Balkan or European-depends on where you live and work) contemporary cultural scene?

I would describe the young Serbian cultural and artistic scene as pulsating (maybe that is the energy I wrote about in the first question), diverse, unique, versatile and tireless, but also as a scene that lacks more space, time and opportunity to prove itself.

In which way does your creative process shape you or changes you as a person, if it does at all?

I would not say that the creative process necessarily changes me, but that it helps me to better understand myself. It often happens that through work I manage to concretize, define and more precisely shape a personal attitude / problem / feeling.