Jovan Radakovich is a multi-disciplined self-taught artist. He has developed a photographic technique called photogravure or photo engraving, which harkens back to the illustrations of Gustave Doré and Max Ernst’s Une Semaine de Bonté. Allegorical, theatrical, and archetypal, they are seemingly stripped of almost all context. His enigmatic images suggest some existential play or arcane rite in progress that invites the viewer to provide their own narrative. Closer examination however reveals subtle allusions to themes drawn from classical literature, Greco Roman mythology, the occult and even film.
Born and raised in the Chicago area, one of Jovan Radakovich's earliest memories was meeting the artist Ivan Albright at the legendary Riccardo's restaurant when he was only 5 years old. Having the benefit of cultured and supportive parents (his mother was a former opera singer), he made frequent trips to Europe in his youth to visit the great museums. It was here that he came under the spell of the Old Masters, and developed a particular appreciation for Caravaggio, Michelangelo, Titian, and Vermeer.
At the age of 19, he went to live in Paris in order to study the great masterworks of Western art first hand. His experience in Paris had such a profound effect upon him that he went onto stay in France for nearly 7 years, eventually establishing a studio in Vence, and later Nice.
Upon his return to the United States, he became the lead restorer for the W.P.A . project, the largest art restoration project in the city of Chicago's history.
Always having a parallel interest in photography, he impulsively bought a Leica camera before leaving France. Over the course of two years, he taught himself all the techniques of the darkroom and embarked upon a photo essay documenting contemporary painters in the context of their studios. His first subject was the realist painter Richard Maury in Florence.
Shunning current trends and movements, his photographic oeuvre has more in common with the early pictorialists, or such outsiders as Edmund Teske and Herbert List.
Jovan Radakovich continues to travel extensively while effortlessly balancing painting, photography, and most recently composing music.