Mirko Ilić

Today Mirko Ilic had a multimedia lecture as a part of Festival of Tolerance, in “Dom omladine”  (Youth Center) in Belgrade. Topic was fascistic iconography present in public space on the territory of former Yugoslavia and abroad. It was, as I expected, a great talk in a fully packed large hall.

Mirko Ilic, Dom omladine beograda
Mirko Ilic, Dom omladine Beograda

 

I had a chance to meet Mirko for the first time about 6 years ago, at his studio in NYC. He is one of graphic designers that I admire the most. His works are sharp, often critical and with very little holding back. Few days after we met for the first time, we met again so I photographed him for… Well, I forgot what was initial purpose, but photos ended up in Elle magazine as well as in some book about him. Here are a few of them.

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As I am uploading these photos, I just recall one interesting situation. Few days prior to this shooting, I was having coffee at Bryant Park when a homeless man approached me asking for a cigarette. I gave him two, one for later. We had a chat, he was born in Bosnia as well as I was. His name is Vinko.

Vinko at Bryant Park
Vinko at Bryant Park

So, a few days later, Mirko and I were standing, sipping coffee at Times Square, waiting for neon signs to turn on, so that we can take more photos, when a homeless man approached us asking for change. I recognized him and I said: “Mirko, allow me to introduce you to Vinko, he was also born in Bosnia.” The three of us: Mirko, world class graphic designer in “Boss” coat (made in Bosnia), me in military jacket and Vinko in some sport jacket (older than me), are standing there. We all started life in the same small country, we had three completely different life paths and life gathered us there at Times square by some bizarre chance…

 

And then – neon signs turned on. We had to work.

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