Born in Tuzla, Bosnia, Popović studied Fine Arts in Belgrade. During a visit to Paris, he was impressed by the discovery of 1959 exhibition of surrealist art from the Urvater collection. In 1960, he founded the movement “Mediala” meaning ‘Honey and Dragon’, to express concepts of desire and fear. Popović arrived in Paris in 1963 and was immediately taken in by French gallerists and surrealists. Living in Paris and supported by the Thessa Herold’s gallery, he painted fantastical scenes, full of disturbing and desirable creatures, reminiscent of Dali’s work, according to a Mandiargues‘s review in 1970. Inspired by Renaissance and Baroque painting, as well as his grandfather’s exorcisms, Popović’s works deal with the demons of a dark pessimism.
He is the subject of the short documentary film L’amour monstre de tous les temps (1978) by Walerian Borowczyk.
Ljuba Popović (1934) is a Bosnian born surrealist painter living in Paris, France. Ljuba studied Fine Arts in Belgrade. His style and entire outlook on art was changed irrevocably in 1959 when he visited a surrealist art exposition from the Urvater collection.
He was inspired to start his own art movement which he dubbed ‘Mediala’, meaning ‘Honey and Dragon’. His paintings, for him, are all about the mixing of desire and fear. They’re pretty creepy, but sort of warm at the same time.
Ljuba takes his inspiration from early Baroque painting, the surrealists of course and strangely, his grandfather’s history of exorcisms. His grandfather was a priest in a remote Bosnian village and was known by locals as “The Devil”. Right… I see… that explains some of the darkness in these paintings doesn’t it…