Born in 1954, lives and works in Skopje, Mice Jankulovski is an outstanding multimedia artist who has explored different disciplines since his early youth – from drawing to painting using different materials and techniques, including satirical painting on glass, from palindrome to cartoon drawing and animation. His creative work spanning different media reflects his view of the world as an ever changing reality in which a multitude of things moving through time and space overlap on a plane that extends infinitely far. Through contemplation, meditation, and creativity, he thus thrives in perceiving and giving shape to a universal order encompassing diversity and constant transformation. All this shows through his artworks in terms of color, texture, and form. Lying behind such an ideal representation of the life of forms is the artist’s observation of the environment as a key to interpretative philosophy: each piece of work has its own story and opens to a multitude of new dimensions.
Mice Jankulovski has had over forty solo exhibitions in prestigious venues in his native country, and on the international scene as well, for instance at the Yugoslav Cultural Center in Paris (France), the Devlet Resim Heykel Muzesi in Ankara (Turkey), the Archivi della Misericordia in Venice (Italy), the Lola Nikolaou Gallery in Thessaloniki (Greece), and the City Gallery in Varna (Bulgaria)– only to mention a few. Furthermore, he has contributed to the development of visual arts in the world through his commitment as a founder of the OSTEN Museum of Drawing, President of the OSTEN Biennial of Drawing and President of the Association of Macedonian Cartoonists.
Within the framework of the XIIth Florence Biennale, the special award bestowed to Mice Jankulovski for his distinguished achievements over a lifetime commitment to the arts adds to more than ten awards and recognitions that he has already earned throughout his fifty-year artistic career. Most recently, he received the Artist of the World Award from the Larnaca Biennial in Cyprus (2018), the Gran Prix at the 19thInternational Print Biennial in Varna, Bulgaria (2017), where he also won the prize for Best Exhibition of the Year (2016), and the Honorary Plaque from the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria (2012). Earlier on, he was bestowed the Gran Prix by the World Gallery of Cartoons Skopje (1997), adding to the Special Award received in 1985 along the 1st Prize from the Association of Cartoonists of Macedonia, the Charter of Fine Arts from Arbitrary Community of the Republic of Macedonia, and the 13th November Award from the City of Skopje Award, and the Special Award by the World Gallery of Cartoons in Skopje (1979).
As an artist, for decades I have been publicly present through multiple artistic disciplines (cartoons, painting on glass, animation film, palindromes, …), while consistently dedicated to research in the field of painting and drawing.
My longtime interest in painting and drawing is characterized also by continuous development of creative thought from my beginnings until today. In my artwork one can single out several constant elements: form, space, color, non-color, movement.
The crucial concern for me is research, or rather searching for the forms as the basis of creation in endlessly different variants: forms and their relations, research of relations between forms and space and their mutual conditioning, the movement of forms in space, the coloristic solutions, the possibility to express the forms with only color, etc. In my paintings (and drawings), one can trace the dominant form that seems derived from geometric forms, but is not "satisfied" anymore with the limitations within the edges, but turns into a freer, more organic whole. The edges represent the basis of the functioning of the form as the whole against forms and so define the space.
Drawing is a special category for me, where I can present the best my great love for precision and detail extraction of the forms with dedication and coexistence with the line as a benchmark of existence. The drawings offer even more pronounced minimum commitment in terms of coloration to the final black-and-white solutions; in other words, they represent remarkably clean and precise graphic creations with strict geometric serenity, but at times also with free, yet tight and controlled, secure linearity.
My latest comprehensive conceptual series painted on canvas have main attributes – minimalism and multiplication. The basic forms (circle, square, triangle) are systematically applied to large square or rectangular canvases with only one color – black. Forms are created by making patterns of spreads on the thick layer of black paint. An additional impression of positive/negative is achieved depending on whether the spreads are applied to the background or in the forms themselves. These series of works are made by the multiplication of the forms within the canvases, as well as by the multiplication of the canvases, resulting in large conceptual works. It should be immediately noted that the black, a non-color as it is sometimes defined, is the only protagonist besides the light – as an integral part of the final image. In terms of spatial organization of the conceptual works of more parts, I’m always strive to provide a possibility to be read regardless of the parts position, so they can be observed set in different ways – a result of my initial interest in palindromes (words that read the same backward as forward).
The individual creative signature in my works strives for contemplativity and meditativeness through the constant of the universal order in diversity. My need to convey the foregoing relations in two-dimensional works is at the level of philosophical interpretation, whereby each work has its own story and opens a multitude of new dimensions.