Mladen Miljanovic is an artist from Banja Luka who has based his art upon his own life experience of growing up during the war and then, after the war, living in what he calls "the destroyed, impoverished, ethnically and territorially divided, and externally isolated country of Bosnia Herzegovina".
Having attended the Officer Reserve School of the Army of Republika Srpska in Banja Luka, he was exposed to first hand insights into the consequences of the war and direct knowledge of what he calls "the senseless military image vocabulary".
After completing his military service, he enrolled at the Department of Painting of the Academy of Arts in Banja Luka. The influence of his military training is present throughout his works:
Works by Mladen Miljanovic
The Academy of Arts is located in one of the buildings of the former Vrbas military barracks that have all been turned into buildings with civil purpose, like the university.
Miljanovic, who had served in these barracks, later worked there as an artist. From October 2006 until July 2007, he retreated for nine months of isolation to the former barracks as part of an artistic project to "decontaminate spaces". For Mladen Miljanovic "art is not a goal, but a means of confrontation with the negative past and practical affirmation of the attitude make art, not war".
Mladen Miljanovic (artist) in Banja Luka
Miljanovic won several prices, including from the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Republika Srpska. He has exhibited abroad, including in Graz, Utrecht, and Amsterdam.
Mladen Miljanovic also addresses the social and therapeutic aspects of art; he runs painting and sculpting workshops and seminars for disabled people. Many of the participants are war victims.