Bronze / 2018 / Press / Performing Arts

Feet and Mirrors

  • Prize
    Bronze in Press/Performing Arts
  • Photographer
    Aleksandar Antonijevic

Ballet is an intriguing art form. Beautiful, for sure, but also extremely un-natural and very misunderstood by the general public. I was a part of that elite community for over 35 years. I achieved a huge success, one might say, considering I came from a small town in the former Yugoslavia. I guess my talent was instinctual and it gave me a way of feeling excepted, considering I was a closeted gay man in a country that wasn’t excepting of homosexuality… It has been an interesting journey, photographing my former colleagues in their never ending pursuit of perfection. A new perspective has formed in my mind, about what it is to be a classical ballet dancer, in an archaic system that has to keep up with new definitions of what is acceptable in terms of coaching, respect of women and an ever increasing physical demands on the human body!

Aleksandar Antonijevic (b. 1969) is a Canadian fine art photographer.
He was born in Pozarevac, former Yugoslavia. He was trained in classical ballet at the National Ballet School in Novi Sad and joined The National Ballet of Canada in 1991. An accomplished international guest artist, Antonijevic has performed with the English National Ballet, Inoue Ballet Japan, Ballet Santiago of Chile and PACT Ballet South Africa.
The artist extended his love of dancing from the stage to the camera, implementing the same principles of form and space into his passion behind the lens. He deals primarily with the form of the human body.
The artist was influenced by the work of Rodin and his ability to model the complexity and the elegance of the human figure; and the highly stylized photography of Robert Mapplethorpe.
Describing Antonijevic's body of work, Peter Clothier, art critic for Art News, wrote: "His images reveal to us, at first sight, the breathtaking beauty of the human form in its perfection; and the dramatic beauty of its ability to reach the absolute limits of its potential. He invites us into the most intimate places of the human anatomy and makes them a matter of pure line and contour. As viewers, we are enchanted by the chiaroscuro, the play of light and dark, the mysterious, quasi-minimalist abstract forms created by those draped figures, tensed against the drapery that enfolds them."
Aleksandar Antonijevic has exhibited at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, April 2012 and The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto, June 2012. His solo photography exhibit, inFORMants, part of the 2013 Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival, received national and international critical acclaim.
His exhibit “smallRETROSPECTIVE” opened in Progress Gallery in Belgrade, Serbia on March 20th 2015.
The artist lives and works in Toronto.