ARTS, COLUMN, INTERVIEWS

Interview with Kerim Musanovic: Meet Bosnia’s Only Active 3D Street Artist

World Art Day is held annually on Leonardo Da Vinci’s birthday, April 15, with the aim of encouraging the creation, sharing and appreciation of art, and to increase awareness of creative activity within the community. 

In celebration of World Art Day 2021, the Sarajevo Times interviewed Bosnia’s only active 3D street artist Kerim Musanovic, on what it’s like to be a professional 3D street painter, and why art benefits all.

Kerim Musanovic was born in Visegrad in 1991 and is a prominent independent artist living and working in Sarajevo. Holding a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Fine Arts from the Academy of Fine Arts Sarajevo, his career as a street artist was launched in 2012, when he won first prize in a 3D street art competition in Sarajevo. Since then, Musanovic has exhibited his street art at festivals all across Europe, as well as in North America and the UAE, and has been the recipient of multiple awards for his 3D street works in Germany. His murals and 3D paintings can be viewed in museums showcasing optical illusions in both Los Angeles and Sarajevo, and he has even collaborated on creating the largest 3D anamorphic painting for the Guinness Book of Records. 

On the question of when did he first realise you had a gift for creating art, Musanovic answers that it was in elementary school. 

”I used to draw from a very young age, before I started to go to school, and I never thought that I had a gift for art. But this is not just a gift, it’s also hard work and practice,” he explained.

Answering on which did he receive more of from friends and family about pursuing his art: encouragement or discouragement, and how did that shaped him, he said that family encouraged him definitely, but his “friends’’ back in art school, he never had positive comments from them—they mostly made fun of his drawings, but that motivated him to continue and to be better and better.

”I’m very happy when I paint, even sometimes when it is a struggle, but that is part of it, he adds.

Speaking about importance of the art, Musinovic says that art in general is important for many reasons. For kids at a young age it is very important to draw and paint, that way they develop and express their feelings and thinking.

”It could leave a positive feeling on people and make them smile when they see beautiful artwork, it doesn’t matter if they are artists or not. —Art definitely makes the world look more happy and interesting,” he said.

”I really like to be outside and to paint on the pavement or on walls. 3D anamorphic street painting was something new at that time for me, which I really liked to experiment with. Also the interactive part between people and the painting was really interesting, where you can pose with the painting and take a fun picture,” he adds.

Answering about what is his most proud or memorable moment

as a visual/street artist, he says there are many, and one time he had the opportunity to fly to the USA and participate in painting the largest 3D anamorphic street painting for the Guinness World Records.

”I think in Bosnia artists are not enough appreciated as much as in the world for many reasons. It is very difficult to be successful and recognised in Bosnia and even more difficult for us internationally,” he says adding that this is his full time job and that he isan independent freelance artist.

Speaking about what inspires him, Musanovic said thatit is his wife, who inspired and supported him from the beginning.

Answering in the question of the most difficult thing, he says that it is to be recognized in the world from the huge competition.  And it is also hard to be a full time freelance artist.

”One downside for 3D anamorphic street painting is that it’s only temporary,after a few rains the painting washes away. In the beginning I was a little sad, but today I got used to it. Luckily with today’s technology you can capture the memory with a photo forever. This is also a reason that today I prefer more to paint on walls as my outdoor canvas, instead of pavement,” Musanovic concluded.

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