Artist in the Spotlight, Trajche G.

Artist in the Spotlight

Trajche Gjerasimov
A Man of Many Cats

 

Trajche Gjerasimov
Trajche Gjerasimov

Trajche Gjerasimov’s work speaks of many things, but one aspect that viewers will notice is his keen ability to play with imagination and construct a narrative through images. His characters of choice stem from childhood fairytales; each one of them has a twist of Gjerasimov’s own. Gjerasimov is talented at stand-alone portraits, ones that create their own fiction, ones that can tell a different story each and every time.

Trajche Gjerasimov’s work speaks of many things, but one aspect that viewers will notice is his keen ability to play with imagination and construct a narrative through images. His characters of choice stem from childhood fairytales; each one of them has a twist of Gjerasimov’s own. Gjerasimov is talented at stand-alone portraits, ones that create their own fiction, ones that can tell a different story each and every time. 

There is a story in everyday life, he says, “those simple, small moments we tend to overlook.”  Gjerasimov is a fan of the smallest details. “No matter if it’s just a smile that someone shares with you in the subway or a subtle look your cat gives you before you go to work or maybe that moment when you fall in love with an unknown dog on the street before his owner pulls him on the leash.” 

But mostly, he’s obsessed with cats. 

Cat lovers, Gjerasimov is now your new favourite artist. He doesn’t just draw or paint them, he gives them full-blown personalities and stories. You’ll be sure to be charmed by the cats as much as he is. As a matter of fact, it feels like his aim is to turn each of us into cat lovers by proxy. Gjerasimov proudly states, “Cats have been an ongoing theme in my work for as long as I can remember. I was always surrounded by cats, always had them in my life. I was always fascinated by their physique. I find their eyes hypnotising and powerful.” Yes, cats are indeed muses. And it makes sense that cats even reflect the artist’s character – “very independent and free-spirited.” Gjerasimov claims there’s “something in their behaviour I find very intriguing and mysterious and I somehow see myself in them, so I guess we are a perfect match.”

His obsession stems from the death of his own cat, Lucifer, “an all-white cat with blue eyes. He was the grumpiest cat I’ve ever seen, but he loved spending time with me.” And he didn’t just co-exist with Lucifer, he studied his cat and others with a sharp eye. “When a cat cares about you, you know you really deserve their love and affection.” 

Gjerasimov has made a career from his devotion to his craft, even though he didn’t have such a favourable start with art. “My teacher told me that I drew horribly and that I should become a policeman when I grow up because art is not for me.” But he didn’t let that stop him. “On the way home, crying, I went to a bookshop, and bought a lot of drawing paper with my lunch money. I stayed up all night drawing.”  He used personal alchemy to become the artist he felt he was destined to be. Her words became his fuel and he pushed forward to realise his artistic dreams. 

 

 

Often, Gjerasimov gets lost in an artistic bubble. “I find painting a way of meditation. When I paint, sculpt, or create an illustration piece, my brain shuts off and my focus is entirely on the piece I am working on. Sometimes I spend more than eight hours painting without realising how much time has passed.” For him, art has been a form of salvation. “I also find creating art very relaxing and it helps me escape the everyday craziness.”  

When discussing why he landed in Prague, he says, “I always push myself to go outside of my comfort zone when it comes to design and Prague really helped.” Gjerasimov describes his native country of North Macedonia as “a place where nothing changes, and it feels like time has stopped.” He felt he didn’t belong in that space and wanted to learn as much as possible by finding somewhere that would inspire him. Being away from North Macedonia, he doesn’t quite feel at home in Prague – not yet, anyway. No matter how much he tries to fit in, he continues to feel like a foreigner. However, some of those feelings transform into inspiration yet again. “I sink into my thoughts and sometimes it’s very helpful for my inspiration. I am challenged more and more to create something meaningful. Something that will make the audience happy.”

Gjerasimov illustrated an Oko! Magazine article, written by Anežka Novák about the Prague Spring, that he calls “beautiful and touching.” The piece he illustrated “gives a glance into the painful past of the history of Czech Republic.” When talking about the process, “it was first a sketch on paper and then an illustration in Photoshop.” Gjerasimov offers insight into his work, “The tree represents the past and present. Above the ground, we see this beautiful cherry tree, but underneath the ground we see the roots of the tree knitted through the remains of a Soviet Union tank, weapons, and skulls.” And it’s not just art, but art with purpose and a bit of protest. “It reminds us that we should always remember the past and appreciate the fight that people fought so that now we can walk freely and enjoy our lives without fear.”

His project for the Oko! complimentary poster is called Catamorphosis, a combination of the words “cat” and “metamorphosis.” The concept depicts “cats in human poses as if they live in a world where cats dominate or as if a person has been changed into a cat.” It’s Gjerasimov’s ability to blend fantasy and reality that gives his artistic vision vitality. 

By observing daily life in detail, he builds stories that remind each one of us how important fantasy is for a worthwhile existence. Gjerasimov allows our childlike eyes to stay wide open, bringing back some of our most nostalgic moments that give us relief from a sometimes stressful adulthood. Let’s thank artists like Gjerasimov who keep those childhood channels open and keep us youthful. Oh, and let’s also thank him for his delightful depictions of cats. Gjerasimov himself is also not shy to thank cats – he describes his art in three words, “fantasy, drama, cats.

you can visit Trajche Gjerasimov’s portfolio at the following link www.gjerasimov.myportfolio.com

 

Jacklyn Janeksela works in fields of healing arts, manifestation work, and creative conjurings. Some of her art can be found here, here, here, here, and here. Find her at Hermetic Hare. She writes about wellness, art, culture, the body, sex, magic, meditation, plant medicine, and astrology/alchemy/the occult. Her poetry can be found (fitting a witch//hexing a stitch, The Operating System, 2017).  She belongs to a post-punk, experimental band called The Velblouds. She lives between Prague and Paris —she is an energy.

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