Davor’s exhibition at the island of Brac from 18-23rd July

izlozba Milna

If you happen to visit the island of Brač in the period from 18-23rd July, you are welcome to visit Davor’s exhibition that will take place in Milna, in the gallery Servantes. Davor’s recent works – oils on canvas and art prints will be exhibited.

Stay tuned here for Davor’s work because soon we will show you Davor’s the most recent painting that is MARVELOUS and it took him four months of dedicated work!


Zilic’s Exhibition in Lovran, Croatia: 23/10/2015-25/10/2015

poster for exhibition in Lovran, Croatia

If you happen to be in Lovran, beautiful coastal town on the Kvarner riviera, from 23-25 October, you are cordially invited to D. Zilic’s exhibition that will take place in the gallery “Lovranski guc” (address: Trg slobode 1, Lovran).

Welcome to the Mediterranean

Welcome to the Mediterranean (oil on canvas, 76x140 cm, 2015)

Welcome to the Mediterranean (oil on canvas, 76×140 cm, 2015)

Some paintings take so much time, attention and effort. You might think that their size should be blamed, but in the end it is one of minor factors that prolongs the process of creativity. „Welcome to the Mediterranean“ is one of the best examples to explain how it happened that it took 5 months to be concluded with Davor’s signature. The final result is just astonishing; it is one of the most representative paintings in Davor’s art. It is also special that its process of creation was so far the longest in Davor’s opus. So how did it go?

In the early spring, we made a small trip to the Adriatic coast, and for the first time in our life, we’ve visited Rabac, a small costal place in Istria, the largest peninsula in Croatia. We didn’t know what to expect to see and experience in Rabac, but happened the best – Davor found a motive for the painting. How does it look to be at the Mediterranean, how does it feel? Davor has felt that this painting should answer these questions. Many of his paintings offer the same answers. But with every new painting, it is a new challenge, as these questions have never been answered before.

However, although a basic sketch for the painting was taken in Rabac, almost until the very end of the process of creation, Davor was changing and re-changing elements and colors, adding and removing some details, experimenting with different approaches, etc. At the bottom line, esthetics is such a personal thing. People from Rabac would surely recognize their town, but they would immediately notice what is different. Is this painting about Rabac, in its purified, idealized version according to Davor’s ultimate sense for esthetics? Or it is not about Rabac at all, but about search for unique Mediterranean beauty that believingly could be found everywhere in its diversity?

I wish you to enjoy in its details and wholeness, strong colors and sunniness. Welcome to the Mediterranean!

Detail 1 (Welcome to the Mediterranean)

Detail 1 (Welcome to the Mediterranean)

Detail 2 (Welcome to the Mediterranean)

Detail 2 (Welcome to the Mediterranean)

Strolling Down the River

Strolling Down the River, oil on canvas, 50x75 cm, 2015

Surely, this is the motive that Davor has painted numerous times. From this or that corner, from this or that season, in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, in the dark night. Then, sometimes with strong colors, sometimes monochromatic, in a hyper-realist manner, or in French impressionism.

I guess that only this promenade next to the Petrinjčica river has Davor’s such particular attention. He paints seascapes, but rarely he paints one particular bay, boat or rock twice, triple even less. He paints rivers, but motives are various.

So, why is the promenade so special? One of the reasons is that it is the most beautiful place in Petrinja, our home town. There are some other places that could hold this title – maybe the city park or vineyards on the hills with a nice view on the town, but beauty is subjective and we would vote for the promenade.

But then, there is a second reason too. Beauty is rarely enough. It’s just where he is every day, where he observes seasonal changes, walks with his dog Gaj, contemplates… and finds inspiration from the bridge to the bridge. Sometimes the magic is in the water, sometimes in the light that tries to go through thick branches full of leaves.

„Strolling down the river“ has its magic in the blue light, in the charming mist. It was a warm, pleasant late afternoon when the beauty was stronger and more appealing than closing in inner thoughts.

Safe Haven – found on the Island of Šolta

Davor with Safe Haven

Davor with Safe Haven

The island of Šolta turned out to be one of the places that we have visited only once, but gave Davor so much inspiration. We have spent in Šolta’s place Rogač only one afternoon. Rogač is a main port where a ferry took us from Split, and although we had planned to explore the island, we didn’t move from Rogač. We both believe that there are many reasons to come back as we didn’t see what is on the other side of the hill, what is on the other side of the bay. The island stayed unknown to us, undiscovered, but the fact doesn’t upset us as we will come back.

Even if you live in Croatia, you don’t hear much in media or from people about Šolta. Few people (less than 1500), relatively large island (cc 58 km2) already tell a lot that you can find there a lot of nature, a few houses, some bays with fishermen’s boats. Around you, sea, dark green pine trees and a lot of stones and rocks with many friendly entrances to the sea. Also, you have no problem in finding a place for sunbathing just for yourself. No problem to find a good restaurant when you get hungry. Now we know, but when we decided to visit Šolta, it was like an adventure. We had checked Internet, had asked people about their experience, but it was still a mysterious place for us.

Safe Haven - detail 2

Safe Haven – detail 1

Safe Haven - detail 1

Safe Haven – detail 2

So here it is, after the painting that we named the Red Boat, the second painting from Rogač, a small place on the island of Šolta. We had named it „Safe Haven“ even much before Davor finished the painting. The name tells a lot about Davor’s strong impression that has about the place. The day was beautiful, sunny and warm, and it makes you feel warm even when you think about it during the last days of winter. Even if you look forward to winter, somehow when it comes to an end, you don’t mind that it’s gone. That’s exactly what Davor did – he spent last days of winter painting our happy sunny day on the island of Šolta.

Safe Haven, oil on canvas, 70x50 cm

Safe Haven, oil on canvas, 70×50 cm

Dubrovnik – the Adriatic Diamond

Few places in the world are like Dubrovnik. It is impossible to explain why it attracts so many people, as some kind of magic is involved. Sometimes it seems that Dubrovnik is more known than Croatia as whole. Distant view on the town is easy to recognize to the whole world. There is something natural in people’s falling in love with the view once they visit it.

Very lately, the specific view ended up on Davor’s canvas twice. For Davor, it has also a special place in his art, in his way of presenting the Adriatic Sea. In the view, so much history, authentic architecture, typical natural scenery and sunny warmness are concentrated. There is a feeling that without visiting Dubrovnik, something will be missed in a total understanding and feeling life on the Adriatic coast. Dubrovnik was an independent republic throughout centuries, it led its own life per se. But its history is also so interconnected with its surrounding, with Croatia. Dubrovnik was a pillar of liberty already in the Middle Ages. Even today, when listening about its ancient times, it is easy to get a wish to be transferred there through time and to live in these romantic stories.

Davor painted the same view, but they differ in one important thing. Imagine that you have a view just for yourself, as you are the only one there aware of its beauty and magic. As there are no other people, tourists. Boats are covered, silent. Such a view is probably only possible today in a dream, in Davor’s dream about Dubrovnik. I am not sure if ever during the year a tourist season is so dead there to have this experience. And even if there are no tourists, it is a town with its own citizens who never leave its streets and walls. Davor painted such a moment, and it exists on Davor’s painting. This silent painting of Dubrovnik today is in Russia.

Dreaming Dubrovnik, oil on canvas, 60x80 cm

Dreaming Dubrovnik, oil on canvas, 60×80 cm

Although both paintings are hyper realistic, the second painting is more realistic. Dubrovnik is not a town of silence, of solitude. You might find moments when there are less enough people, so that you can comfortably enjoy the town and its sights, but during the season, it is more likely that you will be surrounded with a bunch of people and struggle to see anything. You can have Dubrovnik for yourself on the painting, but in a reality, you have to share it, and some people enjoy sharing it, enjoy seeing other people being fascinated as they are. This Dubrovnik is in an Indian home, of people who we met shortly, but intensively, and became our friends.

Vigorous Dubrovnik, oiln on canvas, 60x80 cm

Vigorous Dubrovnik, oil on canvas, 60×80 cm

The Pirate Bay

The bay looks so calm, beautiful, astonishing, and you might wonder why Davor called it the Pirate Bay. It is a bay in front of Omiš, Dalmatian town known for pirates in the past. There you have everything – high mountains, the Cetina River in a beautiful canyon, pebble and sandy beaches, and clear, turquoise sea. Its specific position gives you an idea of its wild medieval history.

In Omiš, you can have so much joy and fun, even extreme sports lovers can find their oasis on the Adriatic Sea. Omiš has a special energy, it just moves you to do something crazy what normally you wouldn’t do. My first and last rafting was enjoyed on the Cetina River, my first and last swimming in the water with a temperature below 10 degrees inside the cave was there, my first and last jumping to the water from the rock that is 8 m high – done there. But Davor couldn’t set away his eyes from the bay, these challenges didn’t disturb his focus on the scenery and strong colors.

With this painting, Davor started new series of large formats with turquoise seascapes. How to have a real feeling of sunny days and waves in your home? So real that it can make you contemplating and meditating as if you stand in front of the water. Such paintings on the wall creates a window to other dimensions, they are so powerful in filling a room and life of their owners with light and warmness.

If you happen to be in California, you can see this painting in the Gallery Elite, in Carmel. It is a private gallery with excellent international fine art collection. Besides The Pirate Bay, there are seven more representative pieces of Davor’s work. Link to the Gallery Elite and Davor’s paintings: http://www.galleryelite.net/home.asp?aCID=40&aIID=0

The Pirate Bay, oil on canvas, 92x122 cm

The Pirate Bay, oil on canvas, 92×122 cm

Distant Paradise

Few summers ago, we visited the Kornati National Park that is consisted of 89 deserted islands. It is one of the most unusual and the most beautiful places that you can see in Croatia. We went there by boat together with other tourists, we were sailing through the archipelago, swimming, sightseeing and had a lunch (grilled fish) in a small village Vrulje.

The day was extremely hot and sunny, and when we came to Vrulje, we were almost blind of so much light coming from the sea and the island, and from the sky and the Sun. After a while, when our eyes adjusted, we started noticing that in every shade, not matter how small it was, there was a donkey. Sometimes the shade would come from a tiny, little tree, but it would seem as it is enough big for this funny animal.

As I mentioned, it is one of national parks in Croatia. Some locals have their houses there, but usually they visit it only in some periods, and live somewhere else, mainly on the island of Murter. To Davor, the place made a strong impression. We spent a beautiful, unforgettable day. He saw this house, and the whole scene was a topic of our conversation and his contemplations for a long time. Finally, it ended up on his canvas, and we called it “Distant Paradise” because that’s what it meant to him.

Distant Paradise, oil on canvas, 50x75 cm

Distant Paradise, oil on canvas, 50×75 cm

Enjoying fine art with Davor

It is really a special experience to discuss art with Davor, or even more, to visit galeries and watch paintings. Davor has a huge knowledge about art history, but his relationship and dialogue with other artists is a very particular one. He talks to them through their art. He sees in paintings what normal spectators or even art critics probably cannot see.

To Davor, one thing is what some artists mean for art history and general estetic, so they have his respect for that. Other thing is what some artists mean to him, as his teachers. In the same time, of course, they can be very significant for art history too.

When we were in Rome recently, Davor was very excited to visit Norman Rockwell’s exhibition. Norman Rockwell is one of his teachers, and he has several Rockwell’s monographies. But this exhibition was special because it was Davor’s first time to see his work in live. After the exhibition, Davor was full of impressions and comments. Most of these comments were related to his painting technique, media, paints, perspectives, painting materials, style etc.

Triple Self Portrait by N.Rockwell (1894-1978)

Triple Self Portrait by N.Rockwell (1894-1978)

What is also interesting, it is that Davor developed a special way to recognize artists through their art, especially those that have his attention. He memorizes paintings, but what is even more interesting, even if he didn’t see a painting before,very often he can tell to which painting school or an artist it belongs.

I follow one blog on Facebook, it is called „How to Be, Book Author“ and it is written by Toni Bernhard. I like to see her selection of paintings, and sometimes I show some paintings to Davor too. Recently, there was one beautiful painting called „Woman and a child in the boat“. I showed it to Davor, and he was really impressed with the painting, he was looking at it very carefully. Then I told him that it is Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s painting because it was written so in the blog, and he was very surprised. He said: No way, it can’t be. I started to browse the Internet, to write to Toni and in the end, it really turned out that the painting isn’t Renoir’s, but Edmund Charles Tarbell’s (1862-1938; an American Impressionist painter).

Mother and Child in a Voat by Edmund Charles Tarbell (1862-1938)

Mother and Child in a Boat by Edmund Charles Tarbell (1862-1938)

Link to the painting in the blog:

And it even happened that he says so when browsing an artist’s monography, being present on an artist’s exhibition. I asked him to explain, I was listening, but I really believe that it is only comprehensible to painters. For Davor, it is so clear, as we can recognize and distinguish one person from the other. It doesn’t matter even if we discuss a painting that belongs to the same stlye, period, has a typical motive etc. for an artist.  There are a code, a signature in an artist’s way of using the brush, precision, a way of moving his hand, a choice and mixture of colors… Those are some of key words which Davor uses when explainting his statement.

Great news from Taiwan

Today Davor received a great news from Taiwan. His painting „Handmade Scarf“ entered the final of the 2015 International Artist Grand Prize Competition. Furthermore, besides that the winner that will be announced in May, the organizers already selected 20 artists that will get one or two 9-square meter booths to exhibit their work at the 2016 Art Revolution Taipei. Davor is among these 20 artists.

Total number of submitted artworks for the Competition was 4,033 by artists from 78 different countries. Davor’s work became one of 90 art pieces that entered the final and will be exhibited from 8th May until the 11th 2015 at Art Revolution Taipei. The winner will be announced on May 12th.

Here you can read more about the Art Revolution Taipei and the Competition. Two more artists from Croatia entered the final!


We are so excited! The organizers are amazing, and helping with each next step before the event. In April, the painting will be shipped to Taipei, but it is unlikely that Davor will be present personally. However, we will both aim to visit Taipei in May 2016 during the 2016 Art Revolution.

handmade scarf

Handmade Scarf, oil on canvas, 70×50 cm