Velimir Trnski

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Velimir Trnski was born in Podravina (Croatia). From an early age, painting has been his passion and his sole preoccupation. Having studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, he did postgraduate studies in graphic art at the Rietveld Academy of Amsterdam.

Through constant travelling he enriched his knowledge by getting acquainted with old painting techniques which he skillfully placed as a counterpoint to new materials and ideas. Trnski says that he paints his own life.

On his portraits, actual or fictitious, he doesn’t primarily deal with female faces, but he makes a contrast between the thick substance of colour and manifold transparent coats of paint.

The drawing that functions as the skeleton of the composition, consists of lines in relief and ornaments, which are later covered by thin layers of paint or gold leaves. In recent years applications of old banknotes appeared as a new means of expression and exploration.

Trnski “glues” dreams and reality on the faces of his models, at the same time almost scientifically exploring the surface of the canvas. Rational and irrational, past and contemporary, expressively wild in handwriting and photographically realistic, poetical as the smoke and fundamental as the earth is – those are the main characteristics of the painting of Velimir Trnski.

Trnski has so far had 101 one-man and group exhibitions in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Croatia, USA, former Yugoslavia and France. Since 1985, he lives and works in Paris.

I know, now, that you are there, in that frame of silence, and of the palette, your true and loving self… It IS you, these ARE your colors, your canvases, the smell of tobacco, and that sensuousness so sensibly bridle and tamed, laid down to flatness, by the reflectiveness of your brush.

Maria Doverspike, Washington, 2005

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