SAD: What do you think of art in general in the decade that has just ended?
PM: I have started to value less the Yugoslav painting which we put on a pedestal for a long time. My generation greatly relied on it. But in the world there are works from the eighties which move me deeply. Recently I saw, in Oslo, a selection of world art which set in motion all my senses and feelings. There are still works which deeply enter into my being. And, may I say, there will always be.
SAD: How critical are you of your work?
PM: At first I did not have self-confidence, since I wandered , changed, looked for myself. After my ‘white period’ I discovered that I was on the way to find myself, but even now I am still looking for myself. I have no particular painting or a period which I think completely reflects my individuality. When I fell ill in 1989 I said to myself: But I was just starting to paint! Why is there somebody who wants to take my energy away? Why is my painting a physical effort, too? I sweat a lot while I paint. Even when I am not painting and come near to the canvas, before I even start painting, I feel sweat coming out all over me. I hope this monographic exhibition in the Museum of Contemporary Art is going to open new horizons and directions in my painting. I am strict on my works. I am still waiting to paint the work which will satisfy me completely.
The conversations between Petar Mazev and Sonja Abadžieva Dimitrova took place in 1989 and 1990.