Belgrade, 23 July 2008
Ivan, our favorite Serbian punk rocker dude
plays translator as we walk from church to
museum to atelier. His dark paintings already
surpass Mayon, but he’d be nowhere without her.
Seven months of bombing in 1999 rid the town of
Milosovic but not Karadizc, and how many died for
this? Ivan wants out; he’s tired of shortages, sleeps
where he drops, saving bus fare to the rocky suburbs.
He never used bomb shelters as sirens blared: if the
bombs got him, so be it. The clownish morose, post
Francis Bacon look to his art is horrifying, sharp, fresh,
accountable. Maryon slams the door as we leave, having
twice talked of suicide on a closed-up Monday before
cold rain came. These two need the smoke and drink
more than anyone I’ve met so far. Although the terra cotta
forms placed in families on the square are funny, even
swimming, the medieval music can’t turn black clothes
and lipstick into merriment for long. Lyubo laughs, talks
to friends; he knows everyone. Two days later Karadizc
is arrested, Mr. President looks down on park whores.
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