Ed.A.Roy (Radoje Rakocevic)

Ed.A.Roy (Radoje Rakocevic)

Photo courtesy Radoje Rakocevic (Ed_A_Roy on Instagram)

Ed.a.roy’s political satirical digital artworks have a pythonesque quality to them. This lends a uniqueness to his artworks, denoting the wry black humour with the surrealist absurdity he employs, giving them an edge; in as such that it plays on the old cogs, interpreting political concepts and narratives. It’s modern and timeless at the same time as he engages us with his messages, the political memes with visual chronicles emphasising the manipulations of the human spirit within our societies and politics. His intelligent views played out in a cinematic dystopian world. Within this satire he engages whimsical looking machinery, playing on the concepts of a society run on an ideology of technocracy, bureaucracy, corporatism and surveillance. The characteristics reminiscent of the oppressive or nightmarish qualities of Franz Kafka’s fictional world, or George Orwell’s 1984, that became a prominent feature film, as power persecutes individual thinking politically and personally. Ed.a.roy describes his intention behind his work, that his goal is to draw attention to anomalies in human behaviour and society in general, to point out the wrong value systems. To show the absurdities of life, he explains “The task of artists is to constantly warn of the issues”.

To Feel by Ed_A_Roy 

Atmosphere by Ed_A_Roy

Ed.a.roy was born and raised in Podgorica, the capital of beautiful Montenegro, on the Adriatic Sea, steeped in medieval history going back as far as the Ottoman empire and political conflicts ranging from Communism to democracy. When I asked him, if his upbringing impacted his art, he tells me, he can’t tell me for sure, probably on a subconscious level, and explains “The art that I make today is mostly influenced by my experiences as a grown up person and things that I notice in everyday life.” He explains that he likes to experience his art projects as separate things. Before creating his GIFs he was creating satirical cartoons and having some international success with them. “However it resulted with digital art, I felt that I needed to make my graphic elements move”. He describes his greatest challenge in the creative process is to convert his idea into only a few seconds of animation, that needs to be repeated over and over. This additionally includes shooting and or finding the suitable materials. He explains how it usually takes him about two weeks to complete one GIF, describing the artistic process as being very unpredictable.

 To Direct by Ed_A_Roy

Weapon by Ed_A_Roy

Ed.a.roy’s first passion and interest was drawing whilst growing up. “I loved to draw on every material, on paper, walls, toys and even on my face; I still have a photo of me as a child with my drawings all over my face.” “I loved creating my own superhero characters, then cutting them with scissors and using them as toys.” Explaining how much he admired artists who made cartoons and illustrations. Later, he was devoted to reading and collecting comics and illustrated magazines. In primary school he was an illustrator for a school magazine for several years, he tells me. He describes how a formal artistic education shifted him towards digital arts. Radoje, describes living in the Internet era as a huge advantage for artists. That whilst engaged in digital illustration and satirical cartoons, he had a feeling that there was something missing, that didn’t allow him to express himself completely, “And that was the movement!” he exclaims and he found his new passion in animation, “In making GIFs, to be more precise”. When I asked him why he chose digital art, he mentioned how he appreciates traditional art techniques, but how digital art gives him endless possibilities. “Maybe the UNDO button is the greatest advantage”. Describing his narrative in his work as not typical. “My ‘mission’ is to convey and compress an idea into a few repetitive seconds of animation. It’s a true challenge!”

 The Core by Ed_A_Roy

Metamorphosis by Ed_A_Roy

Having attended university with a degree in graphic design, Ed.a.roy explains that an artist should be judged only by their portfolio. “I learned a lot more via the Internet, by watching tutorials and online art lectures from world-renowned professionals, than in college from local professors”. He describes his influences and favourite artists as his colleague animators from social media, “Because now I spend a lot of time there, But, generally, there were many artists that I admire”. He fell in love with Frida Kahlo, he tells me, his list goes on, Rene Magritte, Max Ernst, Yves Tanguy, De Chirico, describing these mostly surrealist artists, had a huge impact on him. “Later I discovered Bosch and Pieter Bruegel the Elder, I even got a compliment that I’m digital Hieronymus Bosch! For me that’s the greatest compliment ever!” Ed.a.roy talks about socially engaged art, he mentions the works of John Heartfield and how it always moved him. “I also admire clever satirical cartoons of East-European and Asian artists, they are unmatched in that field.”

 Purpose by Ed_A_Roy

Nowhere by Ed_A_Roy

Ed.a.roy emphasises, how the absurdity of everyday life as his source of inspiration, describing how he is additionally inspired by psychology, true human motives and human behaviour, Illusions and manipulation, society in general inspires his art. “Well, the narrative in my work is not typical” he exclaims. When I asked him if he could go back to any time, which time would he choose? “I would love to go back to Ancient Greece and witness that fascinating development of art and philosophy” he tells me. Then he describes his biggest influences, as a subconscious influence, a probable combination of “All that art I’ve ever liked in my entire life. Probably all of this is etched in my brain somewhere. Maybe even the music I listen to influences my work”.

(His name on instagram is Ed_a_roy)

Interview: Antoinette Haselhorst

Impact by Ed_A_Roy

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