I share the same passion with Selena Vicković.
We collect toys and dolls made of rubber, plastic, porcelain, or tin from various eras and places. Some come out of grandma’s drawers or attic. We travel and visit markets, antique fairs, and flea markets. Then we gather these new friends and talk to them just like they are real. Some are terrible, morbid, have no arms or legs, and have no eyes. And yet again, we possess real red-riding hoods and wolves, chimney sweeps, magicians, wooden horses, hens, and eggs.
In Selena’s imagination, small vintage characters become oversized and very alive. We see them in her paintings and drawings in Paris, Rome, Copenhagen, and Belgrade, in my apartment, and in my small private collection.
Selene came over once to see her horse. Painters are attached to their paintings. But the images have to go on, change the spaces they live in, and continue their journeys.
It’s cheerful at Selena’s studio, and I always think I can hear all those little dolls talking to each other. Some scream, cry or look shyly from the second row, while others smile.
Or, as Lidija Merenik says in her work “On the art of Selena Vicković”: “Sometimes we identify with a toy: its heart is our heart, its suffering is ours, we are thrown into the garbage, and our eye is dug out. In the reverse process of such identification, we, if it is not too late, save the toy, as we save abandoned puppies and kittens from the street, saving ourselves from anxious visions of loneliness, rejection, and suffering. After all, identification is also compassion. Let’s resolve that we will never throw away a toy and break her heart, which is a moral lesson, but insomnia remains”.
I am surrounded by paintings whose heroes I love as a part of me. Maybe that’s how we choose paintings and their creators for our friends or companions and stay in touch with some people for the rest of our lives.
A blue horse entered my apartment, and with it, a horseman inspired by a doll that Selena had adopted somewhere. I especially like him because he has no hands, but has an ornament on his head. Who knows what he had before some child played rough with him, and then years of standing in a forgotten basement.
Today he is a super powerful hero, with whom I drink coffee every morning and tell stories that only he can understand.