The primary source of Radenko Milak’s research on the role of historical images as detonators of XX century aesthetic sensibility were, originally, the books and films produced in his native Yugoslavia. He developed a keen eye for images, mostly in black and white, whose reproducibility made them ever-more memorable in the general global conscience that those of official histories. The aesthetic of the XX century, created between two world wars and eventually encompassing the whole world, has reached hyper-developed proportions as we are all immersed in the permanently expanding fields of the arts, cinema, and mass consumption, now exponentially thrust upon us by digital media. With these elements, Radenko began his exploration of the illimited expansion of visual media, with particular interest in the historic, social, and artistic events that shape history. His refined technique is applied to stop-motion animation and watercolors, which he considers installations. Each image taken from an archival source demands a contextualization and re-interpretation; it becomes a citation, a poke-in-the-face, a reminder, an alert of things to come.
Radenko Milak was born at the crossroads of history. In his youth, he saw his country dissolve; since, he has been a constant traveler, finding in new landscapes, new peoples, and cultures whose diversity and visual richness motivate his portrayal of the world. He develops long series of works that form referential systems, each narrating events from different perspectives.
The first series, ‘365’ was a visual diary that marked each day with the image of an important historical event, through ‘Endless Movie’, ‘Dark Matter,’, where he interrogates the nature of the images of spatial exploration, to his more recent studies on urbanization patterns, which depicts the agglomeration of humans in a reduced space, the work expands and changes focus. From these series we have selected a series of works about human movement that refer to humankind’s endless trajectories through space, thus, sharing with us an up-front awareness of the world we are still in the process of making.
Radenko Milak was born in 1980 in Travnik in the former Yugoslavia, he currently lives and works in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He graduated from the Academy of Art, University of Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2003, and from the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Art Belgrade in 2007. He mainly creates paintings, watercolors, drawings, and animation films. In 2012 he was awarded with the Premio Combat Prize for Drawing in Italy. His works have been frequently exhibited at prestigious international art events such as the 57th Venice Biennale, where he represented Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Kampala Biennale in Uganda and the 57th edition of the October Salon in Belgrade. His works can be found in several public collections, such as the Folkwang Museum in Germany, the Albertina Museum in Vienna, and The Ludwig Museum in Budapest.
He collaborated with joint series titled ’DATES’ with Slovenian artist and one of the founding members of the IRWIN art collective, Roman Uranjek between 2014 and 2022.