One of the many joys of living in Croatia is that every day is different, and there is often a surprise around every corner.
The plan for last Saturday evening was relatively simple – the long-awaited opening of Advent in Zagreb, once more restored to its pre-pandemic glory. There was palpable excitement from the little ones. A friend suggested I make an appearance at a private event he was attending. And so I entered another world, completely forgetting about Advent, at least as soon as the kids took their leave, allowing me to enjoy a rather unexpected and fascinating unplanned evening of culture and excellent company. A little more detail in the press release below, before some closing remarks from me:
Last Saturday, a private, pre-Christmas exhibition of father and son, academic sculptor Pero Jelisić and painter Davor Jelisić, was held in Zagreb. Maja and Jonathan Cooper, serial entrepreneurs and business angels, opened the doors of their apartment, which was conceptually decorated as a gallery space, and for this occasion transformed into a real gallery outfit, to numerous guests and art lovers.
Art critic Iva Körbler provided professional support in experiencing the 86 exhibited works, which highlighted the self-effacement of the top sculptor Pero Jelisić, a student of the doyens of Croatian sculpture Kršinić, Augustinčić and Radauš, who is among those artists whose works speak volumes about him. Numerous guests witnessed this by following the artistic path of one of the most prominent members of the HDLU through the multiple award-winning sculptures of Nikola Tesla, and sculptures from the oeuvre of water – drops and its variations, and female nudes, and impressive relief sculptures of the Sun and the Moon were also exhibited. and works of other life scenes expressed through movement and emotions.Davor Jelisić confirms the saying that the apple does not fall far from the tree. He has continued the artistic family tradition and built a recognizable, distinctive artistic style that is best reflected in the range of works from Koprena to Jungle that we had the opportunity to see in the current exhibition.
Two musical numbers also contributed to the atmosphere. The first was performed by Krešimir Ferenčina, a member of the Zagreb Philharmonic, who performed A. Corelli’s Allegro from the 3rd violin sonata in C major, and the second was performed by the young cellist Maša Biban Capponi, a 2nd grade student at Elly Bašić High School, who performed Saint Seans – Allegro passion Op. 43.
The exhibition also had a humanitarian character through the donation of part of the proceeds from the sale to the Association of Melanoma Patients.
According to the organizers, this event will continue as a tradition, and next year we will have the opportunity to enjoy this unique and unusual delicacy on the cultural scene of Zagreb.
In addition to meeting many Croatians from social circles higher than those I usually swim in, there were two moments which will stay with me in addition to the fantastic company (so many very interesting people), the art, and the excellent refreshments and hospitality of the Cooper household. The first was watching the master at work, as Pero Jelisic, seemingly oblivious to all the noise and celebration around him, continued to work quietly, methodically, and with total dedication to his art. It was an extraordinary contrast to the conversations of high society all around him. Even the cameraman circling him as he worked did not phase him. A humble artist and a master of his craft united in a mission to produce another perfect bust. You can see Pero At work in the video below.
The second was a personal surprise for me, as the cocktail waiter at the reception introduced himself to me upon entering. Although we had never met, Denis Vlahovac recently contacted me to tell his story on TCN for our Returnee Reflections series, and Denis gave a great interview on his journey from Vancouver back to Dauvar, where he has started an excellent new cocktail business. You can read his interview here.
And Denis had perhaps the most innovative use of the dreaded bureaucratic Croatian company stamp, using it to brand his company logo on each block of ice that graced his excellent cocktails.
A fabulous evening all round, and a delightful snapshot into a cultural window of Zagreb. Many thanks to the excellent hosts, Maja and Jonathan Cooper. Check out the official video of the evening below.
To learn more about the work of Pero Jelisic, visit his official website.
To learn more about the work of Davor Jelisic, visit his official website.