Nenad Samuilo Amodaj
1980 – present, self-taught photographer
2002 – 2010, figure drawing/painting study with Michael Markowitz (23rd Street Studio, San Francisco)
Born and grew up in Belgrade, Serbia. Went to engineering school, spent many years designing software for microscopes and imaging systems for research in molecular biology and visual exploration of micro-worlds. Lives in San Francisco since 1998.
My practice of art is compulsive search for what is hidden behind appearances. It always amuses me that we consider photography as depiction of reality, while in fact it is the one most removed from it. What we paradoxically call “objective photography” tends to dispose with apparent reality of objects, taking us closer to the mystical world of visual associations. To loosely paraphrase pop-culture philosopher Slavoj Zizek: "virtual reality" is a boring concept since we are just trying to create an illusion - on the contrary, the "reality of the virtual" is something to think about and explore. To discover how virtual and ephemeral becomes real once it is perceived by the subject and how it affects the physical world - that is exactly why I am engaged in image making.
Study of figure drawing and painting is complementary to photography, for me a way to stay firmly rooted in the world of material objects. Photography and painting, when we look at them as final products, are not that different. However, spending hours looking at the human form (model) and drawing makes me realize how much more I can see, compared to that brief moment of releasing the shutter of the photographic camera. In comparison to photography, I feel that my drawings, even when executed in relatively loose and expressive way, have much more connection to physical reality, i.e. to things as they really are.