Naked like Golden Buddha
pigments and MDM binder on canvas
86 cm x 250 cm

”…With his canvases and spatial works, Destil Marković skilfully passes the thread of continuity, that characterizes centuries of civilization, offering a testimony and interpretation – highly referential and with a strong critical overtone – of the modern world, the totalitarian dehumanized neoliberal capitalist model where, by means of different methods of surveillance and control, a contemporary inquisition is established over the freedom of mind and thought.”
D. Purešević, From Eucharist to Inquisition, catalogue for the exhibition Milovan Destil Marković, Barcoded Paintings, Cultural Centre of Belgrade’s Art Gallery, November 2019

The work Naked like Golden Buddha, which was exhibited at the 56th October Salon, selected by Curator David Elliott, is part of the Barcoded Paintings Series, made with pigments on canvas. “Although apparently monochrome abstractions, the stripes on Marković’s barcoded paintings signify written words. Every text can be translated into a barcode and thereby enter the system of global trade. Barcodes are the product of a systematic process of codification, at the end of which only a rhythmic series of vertical lines remains. This abstraction allows for an internationalized, rationalized system of merchandise management that offers the appreciable advantage of cutting down the length of waiting lines in supermarkets.

By transferring these digital structures to the canvas, Marković pushes the system ad absurdum.

His demanding oil paintings are a product of hard work and they are anything but mass products. They don’t offer any possibilities for rationalization or optimization of labour and cannot be translated into product names and prices. However, they contain short citations from pornographic literature and citations on politics and banking sector – images from the world of power and suppression. Next to each painting, a ‘normal’ barcode is printed, as a hidden note on the possibility of commodification of art.
Benedikt Stegmayer, Catalogue of the 56th October Salon

© Cultural Centre of Belgrade, the October Salon Collection and the artist
Gift and Purshase Contract: III-5- 411/15.11.2019.
Inventory No. 1666
Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Selected Bibliography:
Milovan Destil Marković, Radovi 1980 –2020, Museum of Contemporary Art of the Republika Srpska, Cultural Centre of Belgrade, Association of Citizens, Banja Luka: Belgrade, 2019
56th October Salon, The Pleasure of Love. Cultural Centre of Belgrade, 2016
Milovan DeStil Marković, Nadežda Petrović Art Gallery, Čačak, 2008. Texts: Benedikt Stegmayer, Boris Buden, Ješa Denegri, Jovan Despotović
Marković: Transfigurative Works, Verlag fur Moderne Kunst, Nurnberg, 2006. Texts: Boris Buden, Bojana Pejić, Claudia Wahjudi, Yoshiko Honda


Milovan Destil Marković (1957, Čačak, Serbia) is one of the key figures in the Belgrade art scene of the 1980s. He graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade, where he initiated the opening of the cult club Akademija. The turning point in his life was the year of 1986, when he received the prestigious Politika Award for painting. He has exhibited at the Venice Biennale and moved to Berlin, where he still lives.

His 40-year-long activity in different fields of visual art (installation, performance, video, film), and primarily painting, could be briefly marked by the most significant segments of his oeuvre – from Eucharist (1985), through Prototype and Transfigurative Works (Text portraits in the Homeless Project, Lipstick Portraits, Barcoded Paintings), to Inquisition (2018), and characterized as the unification of the matrices of Byzantine spirituality with a strong charge of revolt.

He has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in the world – here is a selection from those held in the past five years: Distilled Face: Works 1980–2020, Museum of Contemporary. Art of the Republic of Srpska, Banja Luka (2019–2020); Barcoded Paintings, Cultural Centre of Belgrade (2019); Lorne Sculpture Biennale, Lorne, Victoria, Australia (2018); In Bank We Trust, Galerie Dirk Halverscheid, Munich, Germany (2017); 56th October Salon: The Pleasure of Love, Belgrade; Drei-Häuser-Kunst-Pfad, Eifel, Daun-Steinborn; At the Bottom of the Poem, Lennox House, Australian National University, Canberra; Roundup, Bundanon Trust, Bundanon, NSW (2016); a rose is a rose, is a rose, Woelkpromenade, Berlin (2015). More information at