Jay Bird / Josko Buljanovic


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My name is Joško Buljanović, born in 1989 in Split, Croatia. I adopt the pseudonym "Jay Bird" for my artistic work. The name "Jay" is a nod to the jay bird and the initial letter of my own name. "Bird" holds a special significance, as my fascination with birds dates back to childhood. Birds symbolize various facets of life, such as divinity, freedom, happiness, peace, inspiration, immortality, transcendence, and creation.
As a young boy, I would often lie on the grass, gazing at birds in flight and daydreaming about taking wing in their place. I'd envision them scooping me up with their claws, and together, we'd soar across the boundless skies. In my childhood dreams, birds would gracefully depart from my life, causing me to slowly awaken from the sleep.
I would frequently wander through the woods, captivated by their melodious songs, one of nature's most enchanting sounds. I'd ponder the meaning behind their chirping — were they exchanging greetings, singing for pure enjoyment, expressing gratitude to the rising sun, discussing the weather, or perhaps sharing a moment of laughter?
I believe that each society is a microcosm within the grand universe, each possessing its unique language to facilitate mutual understanding. Deciphering the communication system of these birds would be a remarkable achievement, allowing us to tap into their fascinating world of expression.
In 2011, I started to study Visual Communication Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Split, Croatia. I started to be interested in paleography; an auxiliary historical science that deals with the study of the development of letters throughout history. From pictorial, conceptual, syllabic, alphabet to typographic letters. In addition to paleography, the subject of my interest is also semiotics; the study of how sign systems function. By sublimating the aforementioned sciences, I came up with my own pictographic style in art. In the field of visual communications, whole my work is reduced to a letter, sign, symbol, icon or logo — www.manevar.com.
I started painting during the COVID-19 pandemic, and birds naturally emerged as my exclusive and personalized motif. I use letters, signs, and symbols to craft my own visual language, which holds deep personal significance for me. Through subconsciously encoded letters that gradually reveal their meaning, I strive to connect with a diverse audience of art enthusiasts, newcomers, and children. My sources of inspiration are children and primitive art. I firmly believe that the best art arises from simplicity and purity, qualities that are often the most challenging to achieve. In my artistic creations, I focus on flat shapes, encompassing geometric and organic forms, accentuated by bold black lines and vibrant colors, resulting in an expressive and decorative visual impact.
Balancing between the states of wakefulness and dreams, my aim is to evoke emotions, joy, sincerity, and a celebration of childhood in the observer. I seek to captivate the viewer with simplicity and an open heart. Birds, in their intensity, expansiveness, vibrancy, immediacy, generosity, and friendliness, serve as great inspiration. Through recurring patterns, I try to push the observer into an infinite realm of imagination, where birds and their elements soar within their unique universe.
Each form in my artwork functions autonomously, without one taking precedence over the others. Birds sing harmoniously, either individually or as part of a larger ensemble. Rhythm and composition meld seamlessly within the visual structure. Through stylization and precision, I come close to abstraction without fully succumbing to it. The birds, stripped of excess, remain simplified to the point of recognition. In their concise forms, I introduce the bird as a totem of maturity and originality.