With his fine arts painting, Zoran Životić has been participating in the artistic life of Belgrade, and Serbia, for almost a quarter of a century. That has been enough time to form a personal, always recognizable visual expression, and, on the other hand, too little time to establish such an artistic signature as completely definite and constant, especially because in those twenty-five years, Zivotić has been continuously experimenting and testing himself in a variety of techniques, forms and formats of visual expression, in search of a formula which would best communicate to the audience his need for the defamiliarization of reality. There are few painters who have succeeded in mastering a painting technique fully, and then abandoned it for the sake of a new one, diametrically opposed, in which they have persevered with an undiminished zeal, and luckily managed to express themselves successfully. Zoran Životić is one of those seekers, precisely that type of a trier and self-tempter – and that is what adds to the quality of his works. His classicist choice of technique (oil / acrylic on canvas), and the choice of motifs (mostly landscapes) only confirms the consistency of the author’s need to test his mastery over and over again (in a new-old way, and by using specific colours). The privileged, who have been monitoring Zoran’s work so far, are (once again) given the confirmation that their belief in the maturity and growth of Zoran’s talent was justified. His newest paintings present him as a fully fledged painter who has mastered all the tricks of the trade, and who has finally found the true measure of his own yearning to immortalize with colour what he sees with his soul.
In the autumn of 2011, on Holy Cross Day
Zoran Zivotic was born in Belgrade in 1962. While studying at the Faculty of Organizational Sciences, he took an interest into painting in 1980, creating watercolour paintings. By the mid-80s painting becomes his main interest, he starts attending art schools and painting soon becomes his main professional effort, while he participates in group exhibitions and soon in individual ones as well. Other than painting, he also did a lot of humanitarian work, organizing auctions of paintings and art colonies, and at one point he even owned a restoration workshop for antique furniture. The art of Zoran Zivotic is strongly associated with the motif of the landscape, in all its shapes and forms. He paints nature scenes with the same love, regardless of the season or the time of the day. He is in love with the intact landscapes that bear no traces of human presence. The only thing lacking in his art are the motifs of the sea – like many other artists, he paints his surrounding and his native landscape. There he finds his way perfectly, painting bright, sunlit meadows, creeks, forests, country roads, with a lonely tree or a shrub here and there. He has dedicated many paintings to the forest motif, where the birch tree prevails, vivid and attractive in its beauty. Behind the trees in the background a soft, misty light comes trough, so the contrast in the painting is somewhat dimmed. Only the elements in the foreground are painted in a sharp and distinctive way.
He paints winter nature scenes perhaps more than other painters do. Those paintings depict perfectly the winter idyll where he never fails to bathe everything in sunlight and to make the winter season more appealing. His way of treating the winter landscapes is reminiscent of 19th century Russian painters. Along with these bright and coloristically colder paintings, Zivotic also does paintings of very warm tones, with plenty of ocher, orange and brown tones, representing the colors of summer and autumn. The spring, as a season, is also represented in many of his paintings, with its abundance of green and bluish colours.
It can be ascertained that Zivotic is a true colourist, but also that each and every one of his paintings can be defined by its the predominant colour. He paints freely and in one breath – in one layer he covers the surface with rich paste. He prefers the spatula to the brush, which shows his great ability to correctly shape the intended form and to bring it to life using this secondary art tool.
The consistency in the choice of motifs and colors remains true, making Zivotic a true representative of the landscape art and its seminal beauty. By contemplating his art, we wish that the nature never changes, for its own sake, but for our sake as well.