Ranko Vukeljic has made a successful artistic career from visually stimulating our sense of reality and spirituality with the use of Symbolism. In his birth country of Serbia, Vukeljic was a highly regarded icon painter and this early work is an important link to the new direction of his life and work in Australia.
When you examine part of the ethos of icon painting, the move to Poetic Realism and its symbolism seems a natural segue for Ranko. As John Melville-Jones says in ‘The Art of the Christian Icon’, “In more modern times, the Greek word ’Eikon’ (likeness or image) has come by convention to be most – frequently used to describe a portable religious image.”
The term Symbolism means the systematic use of symbols to express an allegorical meaning. Symbolism is an important element of most religious art, and the reading of symbols plays a key role in psychoanalysis. Symbolist painters use images from mythology and dream imagery to create a language for the soul. Artists of this genre believe that art should portray absolute truths that can only be accessed indirectly; and paint scenes from nature, human activities and other real world phenomena in a highly metaphorical and suggestive manner.
In Ranko’s own words, “The direction that I went into art was very high and deliberate. I turn ugly reality into aesthetic pleasure and make order from the chaos of the old world I have come from. My intention A for the audience is to awaken them to search for peace of the soul and the real possibility of a better life“.
Every painting he produces is an entrance to Ranko’s world of warmth and light, and an open invitation to participate in the visual story on canvas. He has spent years analyzing the minute details in the process of painting, with emphasis on unraveling the technique of Flemish Masters from the 17th & 18th centuries. Working in oil on linen, Ranko has unlocked the secrets of the Old Masters to showcase an extraordinary technical level of achievement; one that combines under-painting and color manipulation to the finest dot.
It is this care and concern for a better world that strikes a chord with Vukeljic’s fans and, as history unfolds around us, it seems that the world is in step with this revelation of spirit and our yearning to connect with each other on a deep level of consciousness.
“Man today is painfully aware of the fact that neither his great religions nor his various philosophies seem to provide him with those powerful animating ideas that would give him the security he needs in face of the present conditions of the world.” – Carl Jung.
Great art has the power to take us to a better place inside ourselves, be it for a few moments in a gallery or on a daily basis from the walls of our homes. And that is the pledge of creativity behind Ranko’s art; look for yourself and be reminded that all things are possible and connected.