If someone told me I would be making clothes, dyeing fabric, screen printing, breathing life into paper and drawing. I probably would have said, Shit, fuck, yeah, what?

Photos : Sarah Eve Tousignant

Dave Mutnjakovic, Transfiguration #13, 2016, acrylic washes, ink, screen-printed on cotton, wood frame, wire and nails, 30 by 24 in.


Looking at Transfiguration #13, Dave Mutnjakovic’s love of detail is immediately evident. With a BFA in Animation, Mutnjakovic is continuing his studies in the context of the Concordia Art Education Program. He uses an array of fine ink drawn lines to create his illustrations of humanoid creatures. Having been inspired by Jane Martin’s Transfiguration #19, 1991, in the CCCA website,   he was surprised to learn that Martin had not woven the work but had drawn it with Prismacolour pencils. His plan was to replicate Martin’s style of meticulously drawn lines, but within a fiber textile production.  Mutnjakovic executed his artwork on cotton, the textile he most appreciates, incorporating the weft and warp threads of the screenprint process as an added dimension to his technique.

Mutnjakovic’s close brush with death has had a profound influence on his art. His scar on his abdomen marks his very painful “collision with reality”, as he refers to it.  His works deal with his out of body experiences, which are the basis to his imagination. The importance of the inner and outer self, for Mutnjakovic, is clearly shown in this piece with his use of the wires and nails: he wants the viewer to be aware of the ribs giving the creature an added dimension. The humanoid, which occupies the full length of the canvas, gives the viewer a sense of metamorphosis with the many organic allusions to be found: an angel, a bird, an elephant, a human being. The unnatural colours enhance its android state. All of these factors prevent the humanoid from being monster like: the viewer awaits its transfiguration.

-Barbara Tekker M.A. Art History Concordia University