The Malta Independent 21 April 2024, Sunday
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‘I can’t breathe’: A solo exhibition of Svetislav Martinovic at Christine X Art Gallery

Thursday, 29 February 2024, 10:55 Last update: about 3 months ago

Christine X Art Gallery is hosting the impactful solo exhibition, "I CAN'T BREATHE," featuring a captivating collection of paintings by the skilled artist, Svetislav Martinovic. Running from 7 to 28 March, this exhibit offers an insightful exploration, prompting reflection and igniting discussions on the intertwined subjects of violence, environmental impacts, and societal hurdles.

Svetislav Martinovic's body of work delves into the raw essence of human experience, addressing two pressing issues of our time: the societal consequences of brutality within the context of current social movements and the environmental impact of unchecked development. Through his art, Martinovic skillfully intertwines these complex narratives, exploring a shared sense of suffocation in a society grappling with multiple challenges.

At the core of the collection are powerful portrayals that capture the essence of individuals grappling with the challenges of life. The artist uses masterful brushstrokes and color to embody the collective struggle for justice and equality, moving beyond portraiture to incorporate alphanumeric imagery as additional symbols of resilience and struggle.

The exhibition boldly delves into the environmental discourse, presenting a landscape dominated by symbols of industrialization and overdevelopment. Noteworthy is Martinovic's unique perspective on overdevelopment, questioning the necessity of unchecked building that, akin to societal challenges, seems to be affecting our shared existence.

As an architect, Martinovic brings a distinctive lens to the conversation, challenging viewers to confront the parallels between seemingly disparate issues. The artworks in this collection serve as a poignant commentary on the urgency for societal introspection, fostering dialogue and inspiring a collective commitment to a more just, equitable, and sustainable future.

"I CAN'T BREATHE" is more than an exhibition; it is a call to action, an exploration of societal challenges that demand our attention. Through this powerful collection, Svetislav Martinovic invites us to confront uncomfortable truths, fostering dialogue and inspiring a collective commitment to a more just, equitable, and sustainable future. Join us in this artistic journey from March 7 to March 28, 2024, at Christine X Art Gallery, as we navigate the intricate intersections of art, society, and the human experience.


Svetislav Martinovic

Born in 1956, Svetislav Martinovic currently divides his time between Rimini, Italy, and Belgrade, Serbia. After completing his studies at the Faculty of Architecture in Belgrade in 1981, he embarked on an enriching journey. Initially, he spent six months in Lisbon, supported by a government scholarship, before relocating to Paris for a two-year sojourn. Upon returning to Belgrade from 1986 to 1993, he contributed his skills to the design studio "Stari Grad." Subsequently, from 1994 to 1996, he honed his expertise at the "Yox engineering" design studio in Milan, Italy.

From 1996 to 2010, Martinovic collaborated in a partnership, establishing his own studio, "ARTEFACT," based in Rimini, Italy. Since 2010, he has embraced a freelance career, wearing the hats of both architect and painter.

Spanning over three decades, from 1986, Martinovic served as an architect in various countries, including Serbia, Montenegro, Austria, Iraq, Russia, and Italy. His professional endeavors have earned him numerous awards in competitions and recognition for his projects and completed buildings.

Throughout his flourishing career, Martinovic remained steadfast in his parallel passion for painting and art, even without formal art school training. He views architecture and art as inherently interconnected, with his artworks deeply rooted in his academic studies and primary profession.

Captivated by the dynamic energy of urban environments, Martinovic endeavors to channel his architectural fervor onto paper. He states, "I try to use watercolor like artists use oil or acrylic paints, thick with many layers." Defying conventional expectations, he perceives watercolor as a potent medium capable of conveying bold subject matter and making a powerful statement, challenging the traditional perception of watercolor as transparent, delicate, and romantic.


Christine X Art Gallery

Located in Sliema's (Malta) central business district, Christine X Art Gallery is an independent art gallery that opened its doors in 2004. Christine X Art Gallery showcases the work of significant local and international contemporary artists, particularly in the EMEA region. Christine X works closely with artists to bring to the local Maltese market some exhibitions of new work, which continue to challenge the boundaries of contemporary identity.


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