10 facts about Ljubomir Popović

By Gwylym Owen

LjubomirLjubaPopović (14 October 1934 – 12 August 2016) was a Serbian surrealist painter. He is renowned for his many erotic and unconventionally juxtaposed subject matters.

Born in Tuzla, Bosnia, Popović studied Fine Arts in Belgrade. During a visit to Paris, he was impressed by the discovery of 1959 exhibition of surrealist art from the Urvater collection. In 1960, he founded the movement “Mediala”, to tone concepts of desire and fear. Popović arrived in Paris in 1963 and was snappishly taken in by French gallerists and surrealists. Living in Paris and supported by the Thessa Herold’s gallery, he painted fantastical scenes, full of distressing and desirable creatures, reminiscent of Dali’s work, according to a Mandiargues’s review in 1970. Inspired by Renaissance and Baroque painting, as capably as his grandfather’s exorcisms, Popović’s works harmony with the demons of a dark pessimism.

He is the subject of the short documentary film L’amour monstre de tous les temps (1978) by Walerian Borowczyk.

Popović lived in Paris back 1963, occasionally visiting Serbia. In July 2016, whilst at his summer retreat upon the Athos peninsula in Greece, he was taken sick and was transferred to a Belgrade hospital. He died on the night in the company of 11 and 12 August 2016.

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