People Say 40
Story about the Artist
10. 01. 2022
Ozrenko Ozzie Mrkic

My artwork is a story stemming from my own life

As an artist, I act a messenger who releases what is submerged and
overlooked onto the canvas. My work is personal; each piece repre-
sents an individual thought and experience I have drawn from my
own sense of spirituality and culture. It is a subconscious journey
between my body, my soul and surrounding energy. For dreams is the
most difficult -they always to stay awake.
My artwork is a story stemming from my own life, hailing from
the way I think, coming from my daily existence. I observe, analyze
and transfer my vision onto canvas. Without restraint, I paint this
social “theatre” which we are a part of, where numerous heroes strut
about their unmovable lonesomeness. My art is one of many testi-
monies to the pathetic chaos we call life.
I do not create with any mysterious talent but by my-self alone;
meaning, I paint with my own sensibility and intelligence, my heart
and reasoning, with all my spiritual development, with excitement
of my soul that is constantly changing and surprising…intuitively…
childlike. I glorify human goodness, beauty, love, trust, morality,
naivety, and I deride human foolishness, malice, bitterness (caused
by ignorance), fickleness and hypocrisy.
My art is filled with the elements of solitude and self-sufficiency,
it finds its fulfillment and ultimate purpose in itself.
I reveal myself to my inner self in every new painting I create.

Ozrenko Ozzie Mrkic
B.A. of Fine Arts 1980-1985 Academy of Fine Arts, University of Sara-
Until now, he organized more than 20 “one-man” art shows and
participated in numerous group art shows. His artwork can be seen
in Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik, Museum of ZOI’84 Sarajevo
and numerous private collections throughout Europe, United States,
Australia and Canada.

Selected solo exhibitions
2019 “Sometimes I Feel Sorry for Reality” – SHA Gallery, Toronto,
2018 “Short Tales in Color” – SHA Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
2017 “Together Alone” – SHA Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
2016 Toronto Art Project, Better Living Centre – Exhibition Place,
Toronto, Ontario
2015 Nelson Park Creative Centre, Toronto, Ontario
2012 Praxis Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
2006 IZBA Gallery, Novi Sad, Serbia
2004 COOP on Scolard Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
1998 Propeller – Center for the Visual Arts, Toronto, Ontario
1997 Propeller – Center for the Visual Arts, Toronto, Ontario (print-
ed catalogue)
1996 Eyes – Post Group Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
1996 Canadian Film Center, Toronto, Ontario
1992 Museum of the 14th Winter Olympic Games, Sarajevo, Yugo-
slavia (printed catalogue)
1991 Gallery Art in a Tea Room, London, England
1989 Gallery Uno, Trieste, Italy (printed catalogue)

Selected group exhibitions
2018 Fall Art Salon, 1313 Gallery, Toronto, Ontario (printed Cata-
2017 “150 Anniverssary of Canada”, Cultural Center of Novi Sad,
Serbia (printed Catalogue)
2016 Fall Art Salon, 1313 Gallery, Toronto, Ontario (printed Cata-
2015 Spring Art Salon, Toronto, Ontario (printed Catalogue)
2014 Art Salon, SHA Gallery, Toronto, Ontario (printed Catalogue)
2008 Toronto Alternative Fashion Week, Toronto, Ontario (printed
2006 Propeller – Center for the Visual Arts, Propeller Turns 10, To-
ronto, Ontario,
2005 Praxis Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
2004 Praxis Gallery, Toronto, Ontario Anno Domini
2002 Yugoslav Embassy, Ottawa, Ontario New Canadians, curated
by Bissa Scekic
2001 Praxis Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
2000 Gallery Michelangelo, Toronto, Ontario,
2000 Propeller – Center for the Visual Arts, Toronto, Ontario
1999 Canadian Opera Company, Toronto, Ontario, Art Salon `98,
curated show, (catalogue)
1998 Red Head Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, Mighty Canadian Art
1997 Propeller – Center for the Visual Arts, DIVINE, Toronto, On-
tario, (catalogue)
1996 Propeller – Center for the Visual Arts, Toronto, Ontario
1995 Del Bello Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, Art Salon `95, curated
show, (printed catalogue)
1994 Del Bello Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, Singidunum and Friends,
curated show,(catalogue)
1991 “WHY?”, Gallery of Modern Art, Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia (print-
ed poster)

2012 – Exhibition Assistance Grant, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Canada
1998 – Exhibition Assistance Grant, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Canada

Story about the Artist
10. 01. 2022
Radovan Gajic

Coloures and variations of solitudes of Ozrenko Mrkic

It is not so often that one, at entering the gallery, gets blowen away
while faced by the experiences of a certain painter to the point that
one does not know which painting, he should look at first and which
one should look at longer.
Such an experience offered to the devotees of his art – as well as to
the wide audience – the artist Ozrenko Mrkic, recently in the Gallery
Praxis in Toronto.
This exhibit, as much as visually so much as an act of expression
of fine arts, represented delightful challenge to the eyes of the viewers.
Briefly it was obvious that here was not a man who paints.
Here is not someone who productively gained knowledge of this
or that painting techniques and now applies it.
Here is someone who uses his fine arts tools and experiences to
fight his own demons.
And he is not afraid of such a battle, of which he places the events
right in front of us so we too can feel the heat of our own spiritual
fights –and it is what art is about.
To the eye aiming to be little more educated in visual arts move-
ments of the 20 th century it will appear that – from those paintings
– tones of Picasso, Kandinsky, Miro as well as Dali, and others echo
The artist neither runs away from it nor he hides it.
He openly – where someone would renounce as discovery of the
Chagall’s influence – names the one of his paintings in subtitle “In
Honor of Marc Chagall”.
But all his work is not what it reminds of.
It is all only Ozrenko Mrkic.
Whoever is more introduced to the visual art-flows and visual
research of the artists on the territory of ex -Yugoslavia will clearly
understand what am I saying when I say that Ozrenko Mrkic went to
the farthest corners of painting experiences which was re/searched
by early gone but not forgotten Vasilije Bukcev, Mica Stojiljkovic, or,
thank god, still alive and active – a persistent one – Cile Marinkovic.
Of all the paintings I will only pay a little more attention to the
one named Saint George Kills the Dragon – painting not an icon.
The artist faces us with the worn out, exhausted, old warrior not
a noble knight in a shining armour.
Even more it is an ex-warrior.
And so is the dragon, the beast appears more like tired creature
then the real deterrent monster.
Color wise everything creates atmosphere of happening on the
outskirts of certain periphery where the event repeats itself endlessly.
Whoever comes up here with the taught of caricature will make
a mistake.
Caricature distorts already existing indicative detail accenting it
with intention to provoke laughter through laughing at it.
Here is an irony which – as irony – always establishes the spirit of
reason and bravery. Picture is the cause for the picture / the painting,
as it is commanded by the entire process of the historicity of painting
works. Here we have conversation of the iconographic forms, allowed
only to the rare, exceptional originators whose visions see through
the immense force which through the forms moves totality of our
perceptive mechanism so that it awakens in us the feeling of end-
lessness. Endlessness which nothing, not even any religious concept,
should misuse.
Feeling through which, we recognize the immensity of spiral
change through which we move and exist in between the forms. And
forms are nothing less than stronger or less shaded, acts of colours.
All such and similar visual-forensic searches through the works
of Ozrenko Mrkic would intend to show the wisdom of one who does
them, so it is with me for which I apologize. The essence of this col-
ouristically rich scenes is that, in the eye of the viewer, they truly
awaken love for tragedy of human existence. As they are they recall
in us the immense force which keeps everything and all in the excep-
tional harmony and thus get that human being through all its stum-
bling’s in different vanity fares: national, religious, cultural, folklore
ones… that after all human being is recognized in all this colorite of
darkness only as human. And more important than the light of day is
to be able to enlighten darkness of our hearts, bring the light to dark
hallways of human souls, relive one of the weights of himself.
The immensity of painter’s work presented at this exhibition
comes out of a powerful individual solitude. At the top of such a pick
teams can not stand. The space at such a spot is too narrow. Ozrenko
firmly stands at the threshold of the great painters work which means
facing even greater personal suffering considering that such minds
among us never got the merit they deserve, at their time.
Meaning they are not popular, meaning they had to provide their
daily plate through the challenging work. Such persistence can only
fit under the words of Holly Scripture: “Man shall not live by bread
alone…” Only these words can give the hope to the personality of the
painter who expresses such immense format.
To poses on the wall Ozrenko’s painting presents unquestionable
mark of attendance to the highest fine arts conversation of choruses
of cultural forms. It presents hearing the visual voices of various spir-
its who, through the tragedy of their own artistic action, researched
their own personal dramas. They did it for us, for our spirit so it does
not collapse into the darkness of hopelessness, so that humans do not
lose their humanity.

Story about the Artist
10. 01. 2022
Jelena Martens

Artist from OZ

To approach the art of Ozrenko Mrkić in a superficial manner is
inappropriate because his paintings require our full attention. In
their own special way, they are an invitation to genuinely observe, to
notice, to discover, to look at the world and man in it. His paintings
represent a call to an awakening. “Why doesn,t man see things? He
obstructs the way himself; he conceals things” (Nietzsche).
Ozrenko’s paintings are not the gentle lullaby of a landscape pleas-
ing to the human eye; they do not lull a person, but rather awaken
human sensibility. It is difficult to remain indifferent to his painted
cry of suffering, joy, loneliness, passion, hopelessness, love, fear…
Ozrenko skillfully reveals to us all the richness of emotions that we
are capable of and that are human to feel. He is brave in that, both as a
creator and as a man, for he always offers us his naked self. “We have
art so that we do not perish from the truth” (Nietzsche). Presenting the
truth about himself, Ozrenko does not embellish reality to make it
easier for us to bear; on the contrary, he calls us to discover and face
it, even when it means suffering because suffering is an integral part
of life, often the most appropriate for life itself.
Any attempt to place Ozrenko on some artistic path, and then in
that way fence and restrict him as a creator, is doomed. With his work
he will shake that fence, free himself of every “ism” and, with magic
from his brush, emerge once again as his own – as an Artist from OZ.
Even if there were a direction in which they could place him, then it
could only be “Ozrenkism” – a path that does not impose a charted
vision of work, but serves as an incentive for self-discovery and crea-
tivity through its own expression.
An artist of Ozrenko’s sensibility and skill is often a lonely artist.
“The higher we go, the smaller we look to those who can’t fly” (Nietz-
sche). Being able to soar in Ozrenko’s worlds and capture at least
something of his playful world is an inspiring experience.

Translated by Draga Dragašević

Story about the Artist
10. 01. 2022
Vildana Stanisic – Keler

About the art works of
Ozrenko Mrkić

Take any of Ozrenko’s works and it is obvious that each of them de-
mands your attention. Images, colours, messages appear as wanting
to disarm you – everything wants to be seen and known from close
and afar, but as something more than another face, body, star, cof-
fee-cup spotted en passant.
Ozrenko has contained the movement, those floaters and drifters
our field of vision diffuses while browsing the exhibits. So, every-
thing becomes perfectly visible. It almost comes as a slap – sudden
realization that all elements define the interplay between personal
expression, sometimes cartoonish, and novelistic narrative.
Simple forms, combined arbitrarily, resonate with rhythms of
selected memories which are mimicking an enigma of time, reality,
and understanding. In doing so, the forgotten sneacks out tricking
our sense of completeness and control.
Ozrenko’s artworks have me staring at them in wonder and joy of
a discovery that never ends. It almost feels that I can just walk into
them and insert my own narrative element or pull out what is hidden
beneath. What a game!
Sensation of exciting playfulness gives a new meaning to what
someone once said: “Painting is power to render voice to the inner
inspirations of the heart”. Yes, indeed! Ozrenko’s paintings make
a chorus where each voice renders a new one, more powerful and



Претплатите се и дарујте независни часописи Људи говоре, да бисмо трајали заједно


Људи говоре је српски загранични часопис за књижевност и културу који излази у Торонту од 2008.године. Поред књижевности и уметности, бави се свим областима које чине културу српског народа.

У часопису је петнаестак рубрика и свака почиње са по једном репродукцијом слика уметника о коме се пише у том броју. Излази 4 пута годишње на 150 страна, а некада и као двоброј на 300 страна.

Циљ му је да повеже српске писце и читаоце ма где они живели. Његова основна уређивачка начела су: естетско, етичко и духовно јединство.


Мило Ломпар
главни и одговорни уредник
(Београд, Србија)

Радомир Батуран
уредник српске секције и дијаспоре
(Торонто, Канада)

Владимир Димитријевић
оперативни уредник за матичне земље
(Чачак, Србија)

Никол Марковић
уредник енглеске секције и секретар Уредништва
(Торонто, Канада)

Уредници рубрика

Александар Петровић
Београд, Србија

Небојша Радић
Кембриџ, Енглеска

Жељко Продановић
Окланд, Нови Зеланд

Џонатан Лок Харт
Торонто, Канада

Жељко Родић
Оквил, Канада

Милорад Преловић
Торонто, Канада

Никола Глигоревић
Торонто, Канада


Душица Ивановић

Сања Крстоношић

Александра Крстовић

Графички дизајн

Антоније Батуран

Технички уредник

Радмило Вишњевац


Часопис "Људи говоре"
The Journal "People Say"

477 Milverton Blvd.
Toronto ON,
M4C 1X4 Canada


Маја Прелић
Торонто, Канада


Никол Марковић, секретар
т: 416 823 8121

Радомир Батуран, oперативни уредник
т: 416 558 0587

477 Milverton Blvd. Toronto,
On. M4C 1X4, Canada

ISSN 1925-5667

© људи говоре 2023