AVENTURA, Fla. – Viktor Bevanda doesn’t speak, but his use of color sometimes shouts with excitement and palpable nostalgia. His work with oil pastels has turned him into a master of nonverbal communication on social media.
Viktor was 5 when he was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. His mother, Andrea Bevanda, said they were in Serbia and decided to move to the U.S., where there are more resources for children with autism. They moved to South Florida in 2018.
“It was heartbreaking knowing that he would be different from his peers, but my husband, Boris, and I were committed to giving him every opportunity,” Bevanda said.
Viktor, who is now 12 years old, has found an outlet for self-expression. Bevanda shows him pictures, he chooses one and he interprets it. He has drawn exuberant landscapes, sailboats on tempestuous seas, moonlit waterlilies, and fantastic underwater scenes.
“The result was a miracle on paper,” Bevanda said. “What’s also amazing is how effortlessly, nearly automatically, he makes strokes and selects colors without hesitation or second-thoughts.”
The subjects of his poignant portraits include Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, and Marilyn Monroe. One of his portraits got more than 7 million likes on TikTok. Bevanda said she wanted to see if he could channel his art into different directions.
Bevanda said he appears to enjoy drawing animals more. Some of them include multicolor giraffes, and flamingos and butterflies out of a pop art exhibit. Boris Bevanda, his older brother said there is no doubt his brother is very talented and benefits from painting.
“Like, when he draws, I see like he is resting ... He just loves it,” Boris said.
As a former marketing executive, the proud mother is regularly sharing his work on his website and on social media. He has more than 115,000 followers on TikTok and more than 45,000 followers on Instagram.
“Viktor will never be independent and I think with this I can secure him a future,” Bevanda said.
His father, Boris Bevanda, the founder of Bevanda Tennis in Aventura, said his talented son has already made donations to nonprofit organizations such as the Autism Birthday Club of the World.