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Miroslav Masin - From Masin’s Kitchen

The well-known expression of Miroslav Masin intrigues and surprises us with its sincerity.
His bohemian lifestyle and creation always excite the Macedonian audience.
The exhibition was shown in the period 05.04.2019 – 04.05.2019

Once, some 20 years ago, I happened to wander into Balchik, a small town on the Black Sea. I was accompanied by a friend from my college years, Mitko, and he took me to some of his friends, painters. Husband and wife. It was in summer, in July or maybe
August, who can recall any longer? And so, we’re sitting at their place, on a spacious porch, I have completely forgotten what we talked about, but what I do remember were some really palatable snacks. Some kind of tasty salads and finger food… those kinds of treats. After we left their place, I turned to my friend and said,
“Mitko, man, these people can really cook.”
– “Tihomir,” says he, “don’t you know that all painters can cook?”
– “Come on!”
– “Yes, of course, all of them, without exception.”
– “Okay.”
Ever since then, I have been assured of this claim time and again. Honestly, all of the artists that are good at what they are doing can cook. Cooking, too, involves conceptualization, mixing colors, forms, the process of waiting… then the presentation,
colors on the plate, table, napkins… Thus, painting and making dishes somehow, in an odd way, is connected, and that is a fact.
A while ago Miroslav Masin expressed a desire that I pen something for his new one- man show, for the catalogue. Supposedly, I, a man of letters, ought to write well. To pursue this topic further, I asked him what the title of his show is going to be, and he
-“From Masin’s Kitchen”.
-“Miro, man, you can cook? You are good at whisking something up?”
– “Yes, bro, I do my own cooking. I know how to cook many dishes.”
I wasn’t too surprised with his answer, but you can already guess why. And so, in the last couple of months I have been several times at Masin’s to take a look at the pieces he was going to have exhibited in order to come up with something smart
to write up. And not only that, but to get to know each other more; as a matter of fact, it is not like we have not known each other beforehand, but it was more like who we are and not what we do. For those who don’t know, he is an “early bird”, and so am I. We
go to bed and fall asleep as chance would have it, but we wake up with the first daylight.
Usually, I call him early in the morning, around seven, and then we chat. Yesterday, I called him at eight in the evening, and he didn’t pick up. Probably hit the hay. He lives in Gjorche, and his house is like a gallery, and only the kitchen is like the kitchen in the homes of the other people, without paintings and sculptures. Other than that, at the entrance into the yard, by the gate itself, I am always welcomed by Barney, a huge black dog, who keeps him company. Friendship-wise, we hit it off immediately.
At first glance, he could give you quite a scare, but, actually, he is rather very tame, somehow gets under your skin, and likes to be petted. Inside, Masin’s house is long and white, with many exhibited and framed paintings on the white walls, as well as many
that are not put up but placed on the white floor. On the outside, I don’t know what the house looks like, truth be told, I never paid any attention to it. Inside, up a flight of stairs, is his atelier, his workshop, and there one can see a whole stack of white canvases of various dimensions… this is Miro’s cooking station. He does not make meals but paintings. They cannot be eaten. He dons on a black blazer, completely smudged with acrylic paint and oil, reaches for his palette and starts working in complete silence. This “silence” I put down only as a manner of speech, since at Masin’s, there is music non-
stop, and it fills the space with sounds. And now, a word or two about the paintings and sculptures he will have exhibited at
“Aquantus” in April. This is the exhibition you have come to and the gallery you are standing in. Like many other painters (before him), Miro’ has entered a phase he is not only painting on rectangular canvases, classic style, but on everything whose surface
can be painted upon. Slanted, oval, concave, bulging… all kinds. Here you can see that beside the “normal” paintings from the cycle “Enchante”, the exhibition features around 15 musical instruments that are fully functioning and can be played on but are painted upon. From all sides. A few guitars, two mandolins, a balalaika, a double bass… there is a piano, too, but I don’t know whether he will be able to get it to the gallery, the poor thing is very bulky. As a matter of fact, the instruments can be really played upon, they are not merely beautiful. There is a trumpet and a violin, too, but they are sculptures- lamps, they cannot be played upon.
Beside the musical-visual arts pieces, there is a standing clock, a dozen painted terracotta pieces (clay pots) and one rolling pin. An explosion of colors, very chic. This is my favorite. I don’t know about you, but you will see for yourself.
The artistic output of Masin at this exhibition is mostly abstract, and as such, it does not lend itself to any unambiguous interpretation. A word of caution: do not be concerned with what he wanted to represent and whether something is painted in the style of any artistic trend (or school of painting), what the guiding idea was, the story behind it, the depth, brush strokes, the color scheme… and alike. You just make sure that you find something that will strike a chord between you and the forms and the colors you see, and if you succeed in that, make up your own story based on the piece.
Miro Masin is a man who paints a lot, can cook, and spins interesting conversations. From all of the discussions we have had in the recent months (on the topics of women, music, love, evolution, trout, health, painting, poetry), I would single out the one on the adaptability of man as a creature, which led us to Kakoko Etepé, a soccer player from
Zaire, who once had a reputation of being the fastest man in the world. Take a good look at his “put together” paintings and sculptures and find in them what has been harbored inside you as well. If it happens – good for you, if not, no big deal – the end of the world is not nearly that close. If nothing else, you have attended an exhibition and have seen new artwork of one of our most famous painters. I don’t know what else to tell you. No art can conjure up miracles in your minds and souls, it can only give or awaken something already existing in you.

Tihomir Janchovski
February 2019



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