Art in Focus – June 2020
Die Speisung (The Feeding)
Nikola Saric, watercolour on canvas
The Serbian German painter Nikola Sarić came to sudden prominence in 2015 because of his Icon of the Holy Martyrs of Libya (see ‘Art in focus’, Reform, September 2018.) Sarić was horrified by the video that had just appeared on the internet, showing a group of Coptic Christian captives, dressed in orange jumpsuits, being beheaded by black-clad Islamic State fighters. Sarić’s painting brought him international recognition, but his extensive body of work is far broader in scope.
Sarić is steeped in the Orthodox icon tradition but as a contemporary artist he is able to reinterpret it in some surprising ways, even using paper and watercolour paints. Here is his icon of Jesus feeding the crowd of 5,000. It comes from his ‘Cycle of Life’ series and is marked by the stylised depiction of crowds fitted into a great circle. Twelve disciples feed two members of the crowd each. Mothers with their children look on from the margins, as do other figures – each one an individual. And in the centre, Christ offers bread and fish to everyone. And perhaps to us, the viewer.
Art in focus is curated by Meryl Doney
This article was published in the June 2020 edition of Reform