One to Watch

Sanja Milenkovic

Sanja Milenkovic is an emerging Serbian artist currently living and working in Paris and Milan. She studied painting and received a Master’s in Visual Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts, Brera in Milan. Sanja explores the human condition in her vibrant paintings. She focuses on the role of an individual in the urban environment, juxtaposing quotidien metropolitan scenes of traffic, pedestrians, and crowds with natural elements like parks and shrubbery.

Sanja has had numerous exhibitions in Italy, Serbia, and the UK. Most recently, she had a solo show at Winarts Gallery and participated in group exhibitions at Artgallery and Basilica Di Sant’Ambrogio in Milan. Her works have also been projected in the Saatchi Gallery in London. Sanja was recently featured in the Novak Djokovic Foundation’s Original Magazine.

What are the major themes you pursue in your work? 

I mostly concentrate on scenes from everyday life. My paintings are speaking about human conditions—man as an individual in the crowd, where the city is necessary for him to survive in our contemporary way of life. My subjects are queues, traffic, and people crossing streets, but also a lot of greenery and natural elements, mixing in both the old and the modern. These scenes create a kind of theatrical spectacle that I try to capture in every painting. I like the difference between nature and architecture and how they continually change in city landscapes.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?  

The best advice I got was from my professor: “It doesn’t matter what you are going to draw, an apple or a portrait. The most important thing is to watch, almost all of the time, the subject which you are going to put on the paper.”

Of course this was at the beginning of my studies, while at the High School of Art. Right now, the ideas, imagination, and technique play the most important role in my art.

Prefer to work with music or in silence? 

I am always painting with music. It helps me to quickly connect with the canvas. If the music is right, I believe it can give you good energy and help you to concentrate and focus faster.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be? 

These days I am getting the most inspiration from up-and-coming artists, so it would certainly be a work by a young and probably still unknown artist.

Who are your favorite writers?

Here are just a few of them: Ivo Andric, Vladimir Nabokov, Robert Kiyosaki, Franza Kafka, and William Shakespeare.