Friday, April 12, 2024

Opening of Exhibition "Face to Face" in Banja Luka

On Thursday, April 11th, the Museum of Modern Art of Republika Srpska opened an exhibition of my works titled "Face to Face.”

'This exhibition, for the first time in our country, offers the opportunity to look at Ilic's rich career. The exhibition of Mirko Ilic, one of the world's leading designers, born in Bijeljina, shows several cycles of posters and other graphic design works, one number of which were donated to the Museum of Modern Art of Republika Srpska. Within the exhibition, his original works, part of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art collection in Rijeka, are shown as posters made for the Yugoslav Drama Theater in Belgrade as well as comic books combined with reproductions. The exhibition was realized in cooperation with the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka and the Croatian Design Society in Zagreb.’

The exhibition was curated by Marko Golub and designed by Nemanja Mićević. It will be open until June 6th, 2024.

I would certainly like to thank the staff of the Museum of Modern Art of Republika Srpska and, above all, the museum's director, Sara Vujković; without her efforts, this exhibition would not have happened.


Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Exhibition "Face to Face" in Banja Luka

On Thursday April 11th at 7pm is the opening of my exhibition "Face to Face" in the Museum of Modern Art of Republika Srpska.

"At the exhibition in Banja Luka the audience will have the opportunity to see several cycles of posters, comics, newspaper illustrations as well as numerous graphic solutions that give us the possibility of layered reading of Ilic's diverse stylish and artistic expression."

Friday, March 29, 2024

Article From Designisso Magazine

I am happy to share this article from Designisso (DIS), an online magazine edited and operated by the community of Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design (Mome Grafika MA) in Budapest.
"One-Page Stories - A Selection from Mirko Ilić's Comics Course."
"In this world full of information and stimuli, sometimes we need a little distraction, a good laugh, or a moment of engrossment without committing to an extended read. One-page comics serve this purpose specifically. These bite-sized works combine humor, drama and creativity to achieve their impact on a single page.
In the compact world of one-page comics, only one name stands out: Mirko Ilić, who creates a balance between the short format and the depth of what is said, thus setting a new example for young artists. In the autumn semester, he visited MOME's Department of Design Graphics, specializing in illustration, where he held a one-week course. During the week, the students depicted their own narratives on a single page, in addition to the pleasant consultations, they were able to take a look at Mirko's work. Last but not least, the comic books were also completed."
If you read Hungarian, you read the whole article here.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

My First Published Illustration

Immediately after my 17th birthday, I figured out that if I want to be an illustrator, I need to publish some work. I was always ambitious and on a mission. 

At that time, I heard that Omladinski tjednik (Youth Weekly) paper was looking for illustrators. Not knowing exactly how that worked, I quickly drew half a dozen drawings on legal paper with a marker and dropped them on the desk of an editor. A couple of weeks later, one of these drawings was published in a paper. The drawing appeared published without crediting me because in my haste, I totally forgot to sign my drawings or leave my name with the editor. In the first few days, I didn't even notice that; I didn't care. I had proof that my work was good enough to be published, which was the most important thing to me. 

Soon after that, I started publishing more work in 
Omladinski tjednik, and other youth magazines and papers. I became an illustrator, I was credited and even paid. 

A couple of years ago, I mentioned this story to an illustrator colleague of mine, Stjepan Micak, who puts a lot of effort into scanning and collecting illustrations and comics from my generation. He managed to find that issue of 
Omladinski tjednik with my illustration, and he sent a scan of that spread to me yesterday. Thank you, Stjepan. 

This is probably the first time that I have seen that drawing after almost fifty years. There is obviously a lot of room for improvement, and I am still working on that.



Friday, March 22, 2024

MSNBC News Blast from the Past

Watching David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer-winning author, discuss Trump's financial troubles on MSNBC News last night, I suddenly noticed something familiar. On his bookshelves, he was displaying three books: Perfectly Legal, Free Lunch, and The Fine Print. These are all book for which I created the illustrations fifteen or twenty years ago. A blast from the past.

At that time, I illustrated the covers of many political and economic books, mainly for Penguin Books. You can see some of them here and  here 

Those books were art-directed and designed by Joseph Perez.


Sunday, March 10, 2024

Hari Džekson in the Wild West

Some time ago I bought this black and white photo of Hari Džekson (Harry Jackson) on the Internet. It is one of the photos from his films, which he is displaying in the window of his photography studio.

Aljuš Musli (1944–1999), was a young Muslim photographer from my hometown of Bijeljina (population 10,000-15,000 at that time), who was a passionate Western films lover, so much that starting in the seventies he changed his name to Hari Džekson and devoted all the time and money he had to shooting Western movies, with 8mm camera. He and his friends, fellow "actors" built sets of Western towns from scratch. Local peasants were supplying them with horses and local Roma (Gypsies) acted as Indians. At that time he became a cult personality. 

Unfortunately, by now he is mostly forgotten.

Since Hari never had the chance to come to the US, let alone visit the "Wild West", I decided to take him for the ride.

And here is Hari at the canyon.

Hari Džekson Hari in the Cameron Trading Post in the Navajo Nation.

Hari in Navajo country.

Hari in front of the Blauert Buildings.

Hari in Red Rock Country.

"Usamljen kauboj sam ja, daleko od doma svog…" –Talicni Tom
"I'm a poor lonesome cowboy, and a long way from home…" –Lucky Luke

Friday, March 8, 2024

"Mendo Mendović" by Borivoj Dovniković (Bordo)

You probably think I started to collect to collect original comics in my old age. No. I started to collect comics at my young and tender age. Here is one of those comics given to me in 1975 by Borivoj Dovniković (Bordo)

The comic is based on the hit Yugoslav children's TV show that ran from 1963-1965 with live actors and a bear puppet. The show was named Mendo and Slavica. Mendo Mendović was an early celebrity on Yugoslavian TV. He was a puppet bear that would regularly perform with Slavica Fila (Mendo and Slavica). He had a peculiar speech, inserting "n" within words (hence his name Mendo from Medo "(teddy) bear") and he let the good children press his nose, which would produce a honking sound. 

The comics Mendo Mendović were drawn by Bordo, and appeared in 1964.