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Review by Hrvoje Kovacevic, writer :

Stjepan Djukic Pista is an established painter and a sculptor. Here and abroad (especially in Australia where he lived and worked for several years) he gained a reputation of a potent artist who minutely rethinks the reflexion of historic changes to our everyday lives, won numerous international awards, as a great portraitist received countless orders by famous art lovers that wanted him to perpetuate them.

It should also be pointed out that with his smaller or larger artistic solutions, for over 20 years, Pista has been present in numerous churches in Croatia. His grand portraits of the blessed Alojzije Stepinac and saint Mark of Krizevci are located in the Varazdin Cathedral , he's the author of the altar scene in the Varazdin priest home, the big altar scene in Trnovec Bartolovecki , big altar triptych in Orehovica (created in the technique of art-relievo), he created the big altar portrait of the blessed Alojzije Stepinac for the Church of Jesus' Holy Heart in Split and much more.

My opinion is that Pista's most mature collection is A grain of salt in the cathedral of spirit, in which he managed to articulate what many want, but only rare manage to achieve - our reality, without pathos, lucid, sharp and without compromises. As such as we are, playful, cheerful, happy, funny, sad, sometimes tragic, and even more often naive. The golden calf is something we just can't seem to get rid of from our squares and (which is more important) our dreams.

A grain of salt in the cathedral of spirit is an unfinished collection, the restless artists' spirit led Pista to a new experiment. They are those which we don't know, a new collection that stemmed from the previous one. Maybe figuring out that he won't find the answers to the questions in the adult world that have preoccupied him, he turned towards children, their games, relations and ways of thinking about the world in which they've found themselves.

And now, finally, we reach the artistic map that is the topic of this introduction - Krizevci through time and spirituality. I believe that this collection, as well as the previous one (They are me which I don't know), came as a result from the A grain of salt, in terms of continuity of artistic exploration, even though thematically it portrays a completed entirety.

The parson and dean, venerable Stjepan Sovicek has recognized Pista's work and ability of artistic thinking of the history and the present. By doing so, he gave Krizevci and the cultural heritage a truly valuable accomplishment.

Pursuing this theme, Pista meticulously studied all the available data regarding the rich history of Krizevci , and then turned towards saint Mark of Krizevci , the well and the Krizevci churches , especially the towers which appear on all of the paintings.

Pista uses the sky as the stage where the characters are playing their or someone else's lives, he paints it in strong movements, rich, often dramatic colors. The towers protrude in such a sky with their steady vertical lines and set up a dynamic scenography for the events in the forefront. The exception to this is the painting Dance of towers (seven towers out of existing eight in Krizevci ), where the towers themselves are the main actors, while the three women have a relaxed chat next to the well, giving just a touch of profanity in the sacral story.

Maybe the strongest artistic weapon that Pista has is the keen sense of the composition. After making the towers and the sky the parameters, the human and animalistic figures are being put in different relations, depending on the content of the picture brings in more or less tension, the compositions are sometimes dense, sometimes spread out, but always well though out and harmonious.

The towers are witnesses to the present, history and timelessness, festivities, people's dramas and the everyday life. The tower of the conacthedral is in the admirable contrast with the turbulent weapons and shrivelled bodies of the Bloody convocation of Krizevci , but is in correlation with the skull in the bottom of the image - the spirituality and the violence have been from time immemorial woven in the civilization, shaping it and making it move. The roof of the same concathedral is painted with more intensive red color than the previous image, where the people calmly gather around the well (whose predecessor, according to the legend, after displaying the golden cross in the water, caused the building of the Church of the Holy cross). In two images, saint Mark of Krizevci suspects his martyrdom, while the towers give him solace. In the painting The festive day, the opposite to the tower vertical line is the flow of the fan held by one lady in her wrist.

I've already mentioned that Pista is an exceptional portraitist, the human is always in the starting point of all his deliberations, but in this collection he doesn't focus on the anatomic details, the faces are often just slightly highlighted. Except saint Mark of Krizevci , who is the only historic persona, under the sky of Pista's images are anonymous passers though time, citizens, nobles, warriors, ladies, farmers, priests. An individual in the human body is transient (which doesn't belittle the importance of his existence, but rethinks and fulfils him), the works are what remains, customs, memories, the spirituality in general. The art that recorded this is also that what remains.

In two paintings, Pista reminds us that he is also a great animalist; the playful horses that are bound with the carriage are looking forward to the new day, while the tired bulls can't wait to return to the bull shed.

After seeing the art map, the impression that the painter wanted to say much more in the topic remains. That's why I hope that these nine paintings are just the beginning of Pista's exploration and thinking of the rich Krizevci history, which will be recognized by the client and all art connoisseurs.

 

Collection paintings:

 

  • 01kp_sv_marko_krizevcaninSaint Mark of Krizevci
  • 02kp_postojanost_sv_marka_krizevcaninaThe steadiness of St. Mark of Krizevci
  • 03kp_kod_zdencaBy the well
  • 04kp_ples_tornjevaDance of towers
  • 05kp_krvavi_saborBloody convocation of Krizevci
  • 06kp_krizevacko_jutroKrizevci morning
  • 07kp_svecani_danThe festive day
  • 08kp_dan_cvijecaThe flower day
  • 09kp_vijesti_iz_povijestiNews from the history

Contact me

Ravnice 89A, 49124 Veliko Trgovisce, Croatia

info@pista.online (all inquiries)

+385 91 50 90 348 (Pišta, croatian language only)