BELGRADE: After making his name designing and printing posters for Nirvana and other bands at the height of Seattle’s grunge scene, American artist Jeff Ross has since been wandering the globe in search of inspiration.
Now he is finding it in Serbia, where the 58-year-old recently set up studio outside of Belgrade and is taking part in the gritty capital’s vibrant street art scene.
“I sense there is something here, there is a ball of something happening and I want to be here for it, and collaborate, teach people how to screen print, make art, make music, noise,“ he told AFP of the “energy” that drew him to Serbia.
On a recent night Ross could be seen spray-painting loopy, brightly coloured designs on the walls of Maniac, one of Belgrade’s underground — literally beneath a street — late-night alternative music clubs.
He also works on private pieces for sale in the studio he has set up in Pancevo, a smaller city just across the Danube from Belgrade.
That’s where he keeps the iconic black-and-white prints he designed for Nirvana posters and merchandise back in the 1990s.
Born in Germany but raised in the United States, Ross says he was drawn to Pancevo’s slow vibe after four years of making art in chaotic Bangkok.
Another draw to Serbia is a certain spirit of improvisation that reminds Ross of his “punk rock days”.
“Everybody (here) makes things with what they have... My art is the same thing, I collect things, I use everything I can find to make art, so Serbia, Belgrade, is perfect for that.” — AFP