Illusion and Emptiness

“Art history for me is a world of never-ending discovery and one can see in my paintings all kinds of styles – surrealism, magic realism,” says Nadja Jovanovic, born in 1983 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia and now based in Zagreb, Croatia. “Personally, I try to distance myself from everything I see so that I can be more inspired and less influenced.”

For Nadja, sources of inspiration are everywhere, present in the day to day disclosures of life. Her paintings are highly existential in nature – she examines freewill, our fears, the limits of our cognition. The epicenter is the person – isolated, framed in constant questioning of reality, hovering between the dualism of consciousness and unconsciousness. There is a larger dimension of social criticism in the work as well, especially reflected in the way Nadja depicts the hollowness of modern corporate culture.

Nadja Jovanovic (Photo by Yanis AlexakisCC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

“My art is a place where we see ourselves in a dream without being aware of our own role or position. The perspectives might change, when we are acting out of the dream. I symbolically named this approach Somnambulism,” explains Nadja. “As a sleepwalker would do if he had the tools to capture a world between dreams and what we perceive as reality, I tried to transfer my thoughts into an image. I have no intention to translate this into words again and to point any message. It is a visual language not meant to be perceived with words. In our time we are surrounded by tons of information, and Art is just a field on the menu. I can not tell someone how to read an image, how to see, feel or think. This requires awakening of the senses, and that always depends on the individual. I am trying to give indications and show something that we share collectively, as an attempt to raise the question of our personal perception of humanity.”

Learn more about Nadja Jovanovic on her blog (, Saatchi Art profile ( and Facebook page ( Take a look at some of her haunting, brilliantly shaded scenes. The featured painting is called “Veils of Illusion”.


Nadja Jovanovic










Freedom of Choice






Collective Unconscious




Empty Suit


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