Momcilo Simic

I was born and raised in Sokolac, a small town in Republic Srpska (at that time, before the war, it was Yugoslavia). The town is situated on a plateau, at almost 1000m altitude. Clear, fresh air, wide open space, harsh beautiful winters and colorful meadows and forests rich in fragrances during summer time is a short description of the area. The happy and playful childhood that I had there is the source of motivation and emotions behind my landscapes and painting with children playing hockey. These two distant worlds (Sokolac and Canada) are connected in my art through the universal language of images.After high school, I moved to Belgrade (Serbia) to study psychology. Very soon, after I got a degree in psychology at the University of Belgrade and employment as a psychologist in a regional hospital in Loznica, the war began. I worked at that hospital for the next five years.

One evening, under candle light, due to electricity restrictions that were very common at the time (twelve hours with no power a day), I discovered my talent for art. I drew a profile of my wife. “I made something from nothing”, was my first thought. I got an image from the darkness of a pencil and whiteness of paper. Contrary to my work at the hospital, art gave me a concrete result. “Something from nothing” has the same influence on me now as it had then. There is something divine about that. I couldn’t ignore what happened and it was the beginning of my new career. My first paintings were sold in galleries in Belgrade. I was 30 at that time. Without any formal training, only talent, I had earned trust and compliments from many interested in the arts and involved in the art industry. I brought to Canada five paintings, and now I make a living doing commissions and selling my paintings (making pictures-some would say).

And the most important thing, I am in pursuit of beauty in this visual world, in and around us, its complicity and meanings, its mystery. I want to find it, share and emphasize it. I don’t romanticize or idealize, I understand and believe that the power of true beauty can only make us better and bring us closer to each other. It brings out the good in us, if treated well…I am also aware that, sometimes, beauty is a dangerous magic, and I am sure that “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”.

In Serbia, I had several solo and group exhibitions. In 2006, I had an exhibition in Kitchener City Hall. In 2007, I participated in an independent artists show – TorontoArtExpo. In 2008, my portrait “Masa” was selected for the Top Finalist Show organized by Portrait Society of Canada, which I am a member of. My work was featured in the media too (Leaf ’s TV, MagazinArt, etc). During my relatively short career, I have sold more than 100 paintings in many countries, and they are now in private and corporate collections.