Artist statement

I see my work as an undistinguished part of my personality, of all the experiences and thoughts that have shaped me from the Zagreb Applied Arts School, the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice, to the studies of Chinese Calligraphy at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. But there is so much more to that. First of all, there is the Empty Space, as Peter Brook intended it, in which so much goes on, which eventually turns out not to be empty at all. A space of friction, even in the smallest and most peaceful segments of our journey through life. The drama is recorded on the rice paper; it happens between ink and water as an everyday drama of existence.

On my second year of Academy training I gave up figurative and traditional ways of representing reality in order to try to distinguish between learned aesthetic reflex and a primordial impulse of creative thinking, which stands in the beginning of all creative actions. Proceeding that way, I came to this conclusion: human beings transfer ideas like viruses, and very often are not even aware that they are just duplicating an idea that they are convinced is thought by them as an original. As I had the opportunity to compare visual arts in Venice, Zagreb and Beijing, I noticed that many artists travel in order to pick up ideas and transfer them to someplace where the audience has not yet been familiarized with those, where that idea will be considered as an original thought. On the other hand, am I not doing the same? Going from Venice to Beijing, then back to Zagreb, learning and absorbing new ways of doing art. Well, I hope I am making an effort to “distillate” seen and learned through a filter which is just mine. Learned this, I immersed myself in painting.

In my work the accent is not placed on a search for an idea which will be catchy and attractive, but on the process of painting itself. I let my knowledge and skill, the materials and the pleasure of painting, guide me.

Although I was an oil-painter originally, now I use the materials I first used at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing: the so called 'rice paper' (chinese paper), ink and brushes made of goat hair. After completing a painting, it goes through the process of preparation, and signing by the seal carved in a rock (one must prepare a stone seal to sign the finished work). The paintings are produced in series, for example: the series called The Captain Log contains a very personal understanding of log writing about the elements of nature which is contained in each and everyone of us. The paintings do not contain any recognizable forms or objects from our everyday life, even though they may remind us of vegetal or mineral forms. They do function well as an oasis for relaxing and meditation, because they do not force for the specific interaction, in other words, they do not impose on the viewer, but they invite the observer to fill it with his/hers thoughts and introspective journeys. I think this is the most that I can wish for the observer of my paintings.