Good Evening Mrs Magpie
(Modeselektor remix)

Magpies are my favorite city birds. With pitch black and clean white feathers they conceal their beauty and reveal it in the sun light – the feathers of iridescent blue, from ultra-marine to Prussian. That’s why I decided to start my Krletke series with magpies. So this painting is actually a sketch for a diorama. I realized that I am more comfortable of doing sketch on canvas (like I usually do, then I paint over it), so I just did that and in the end I have finished painting that I will use as a basis for a diorama. Like ukiyo-e painter doing a view for a print. As a painting it is a part of my Japanesque series of paintings, therefore it is named after a song, in this case Morning Mr Magpie by Radiohead from The King of Limbs album. I really like this song and the lyrics of it. I imagine Thom Yorke coming upon magpie and magpie raps at him: “You got some nerve coming here, you stole it all, give it back”. Yorke replies: “Good morning, Mr Magpie, how are we today?” To what magpie says:”Now you’ve stolen all the magic, I turn my back, walk away.” Next part I interpreted as Yorke´s inner voice: “You know you should but you don’t” as you know you should leave but you don´t, you are interested in what is going on. So in the next reply to “good morning” we have this answer from magpie: “Now you’ve stolen all the magic and took my melody.” So magpies’ mistrust is because people stole their good voice (and I found out later their good name). You have to understand at this point I didn´t know anything about British lore related to magpies. In Bosnia it is considered that crows and magpies collect shinny objects, especially magpies, and it is even used as a plot for The Magpie Strategy (1987) movie that indirectly is speaking about Yugoslavia coming apart. As I am ambivalent about myths and lore and it is not in my interest to promote them, I decided to just continue my ignorant admiration for this beautiful bird. If the light is right and if the birds allowed it, I will always spend a few moments to admire their beauty. And now I have preserved that beauty in Krletke.

The name for Krletke diorama is Good Evening Mrs Magpie (Modeselektor remix), IDM version of the song that I like to dance to in my studio when I do some magic and I acknowledge it by a little dance- a magpie dance.


Related artwork – Good Evening Mrs Magpie
pS. The text is the same for both artworks.

Technique: mixed media (acrylic on glass, PVC cel, canvas with wooden frame)

Size: 41,5 x 56,5 x 5,7  cm

Year: May 2020

Availability: Available

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Krletke

This series of kacho-e (pictures of birds, flowers and insects) is inspired by Japanese cel animation and tradition of omocha-e (kumiage-e) / tatebanko. Recently I have experienced a joy of painting on plexiglass surface and this very much reminded me of transferring drawing on animation cel and coloring it. When I received a set of cels from anime in 2016, I almost had a chance to make a composition of 3 layers of cels from Arcadia of My Youth: Endless Orbit SSX, but two got stuck together, and I couldn´t separate them without damage. I wanted to experiment a little bit with PVC cel. The second source of influence comes from tatebanko (ancient setting), 2.5D paper craft diorama, that originally comes from omocha-e (paper toy for children), that could be a print of board game to diorama setting – kumiage-e, popular in late Edo period. Kumiage-e (building up pictures) is ukiyo-e print that was sold as a set for diorama of kabuki scene and they originated from paper crafted scenes for kabuki theatre and toy theatre. Tatebanko is quite popular in Japan, and the scenes can be either very easy to build (featuring characters like Hello Kitty-chan), to really complex dioramas of buildings and houses.The name I chose for this series is the Bosnian word krletka that comes from Proto-Slavic klětь which has a meaning of a place where you house or hold animals – could be a cage, a basket, a barn or a part of house. I apologize to Japanese people and other Asian countries who will have a hard time pronouncing this word, but I wanted to avoid using word cage (like bird cage) for in this series I wanted to capture but not to cage and imprison. As for the source, I will use kacho-e prints with my interpretations of flowers, birds and insects.