We know almost nothing of Janko Domsic’s life or the circumstances of his arrival in France. He probably spent some time in prison. He might have lived in Toul, in Meurthe-et-Moselle, and in 1935 worked on the construction of a railroad in Pont-sur-Yvonne. Janko Domsic probably received elementary education. When in Paris, he lived in misery in a sordid building. He was in conflict with the Social Security system about his old age pension and with others who would have robbed him of his writings.
Domsic draws and writes with colour pencils, ballpoint pens and felt-tip pens. His drawings teem with writings in French, but sometimes also in Croatian and German. With the exception of some information from his personal life, Nazi songs and religious writings, most of his vocabulary refers to mystic ideas, to the moral code of freemasons as well as to economy. The pentagram, swastika and hyphens embellish the drawings as well as are part of the figures stretched to extreme. The lines are joined together and form a labyrinth with no way out.
Several of his texts read: “All rights of reproduction reserved…” (The spelling varies with each text). His writings follow a perpendicular or a circular movement in regard to his drawings. Most words used are adjectives, adverbs and interjections (Ha ha, Tralala, Hop la, Aleluya). He speaks about himself in the third person. A certain number of words in capital letters are underlined by arrows and also used as abbreviations. The word JESUS means “Janko-Espion-Soviétique-Ustacha-Souperstar” or “Janko-Ecrit-Savant-Universel-Souperstar”.
He died in 1983, taking with him the secrets of his art. His work is in major collections of art brut in the world.

Photos: © Collection ABCD, Montreuil

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