Pezazis from around the Region of Kosovo 2021–23 - Autostrada Biennale

Pezazis from around the Region of Kosovo 2021–23

Artist: Bajram Mehmeti

Venue: Shani Efendi House

In the small Serbian-Romani village of Lepina, about a half-hour drive from Prishtina, is the studio of the Roma artist Bajram Mehmeti, which he shares with his sister, renowned artist Farija Mehmeti. Farije is known for her portraits of Roma women that meticulously depict facial features and distinct textile patterns, while her brother is known for his pastel landscapes. Mehmeti always wanted to be a painter. However, due to his family’s economic conditions he could not follow his dream of studying at the Fine Arts Academy. It was not until 2000 that Mehmeti managed to take painting classes, with the Kosovar painter Zoran Živković, who gave lessons at a private school in Ugljare, a Serbian village in Fushë Kosovë. At the end of the term, he participated in his first group show, which led to further opportunities. Mehmeti’s dreamlike paintings present imaginary and concrete landscapes and scenes from around Lepina, based on Roma culture and tradition. The work is permeated by a sense of serenity but also frankness, given his vernacular painting technique. The paintings oscillate between images of everyday life and the allure of imaginary places. Views of rivers and skies, homes, animals, people working in the field or participating in other quotidian activities are his main subjects. In Autostrada, they are shown just as he displays them in his small studio: a kaleidoscope of images speaking to us from a working desk.

Bajram Mehmeti (1980) was born in Lepina and lives and works in Lepina.


Supported by ERIAC

Text by Hana Halilaj

Photo credits Tuğhan Anıt

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