As Jutarnji.hr reported, a special occasion was held in Varaždin on Wednesday, where Mayor Ivan Čehok presented the Nikola Tesla statue, the work of renowned Croatian artist Nikola Vudrag. The iron statue of 12.5m high, 4.5m wide statue and weighing almost 4 tons, is now the largest statue in the world dedicated to the Croatian genius.
Nikola Vudrag is an artist born in 1989 in Varaždin, and now currently living in Zagreb. After growing up next to his grandfather and father, both metalworkers and welders, he became interested in the creative aspect of metalworking, craft, construction, and art.
He has now been sculpting and exhibiting since 2005 all around Europe and Croatia, on more than fifty independent and group exhibitions. He is the author of several public awards and medals. He deals with philosophical and linguistic concepts in fine arts but pays most attention to the classical approach and symbolism as the language of visual art.
The Nikola Tesla statue, the largest in the world
It is a Tesla Powerline sculpture, constructed in 2017 by Nikola Vudrag, for the exhibition “Tesla mind from the future” in Zagreb, in the form of a model for a high transmission line. Earlier that year, Vudrag had been chosen as the author of the portrait “Our Lady of Loreta”, a 12 m high monument in Primošten.
“Nikola Tesla’s sculpture began as a conceptual project as part of the rethinking of Croatian visual identity, in which power lines would alternate with sculptures dedicated to many real and narrated protagonists, including Tesla, Oak, Triumphal Arch, Torpedo, Veli Jože, Bear and the like.”, said Nikola Vudrag, adding that sculptural forms would replace some of the transmission lines on the tourist route throughout Croatia.
Nikola Tesla, born in 1856 in the town of Smiljan, was an inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and futurist best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system. All over the world, he’s been celebrated in several forms, and among them, through sculptures and statues. Now, the largest in the world has been erected in the city of Varaždin.
Before its presentation in his native Varaždin, Vudrag’s monumental work had been exhibited in cities such as Zagreb, Budapest, and Berlin, and from now on it will be permanently placed in front of the Varaždin Technology Park.
“It started with a half-meter sketch, until the Tesla Mind from the future exhibition appeared, for which I made a similar 12-meter sculpture,” said Vudrag, noting that parts of the sculpture were exhibited at his solo exhibitions in northern Croatia.
“Six months ago, the idea was launched to finally collect this Tesla from all locations and put it in front of the Technology Park. He finally found his happy home,” said Vudrag, thanking the project’s initiator, Varaždin’s Varkom director Željko Bunić and the City of Varaždin, for choosing his hometown as the place were the almost 13 meters tall Nikola Tesla statue will be permanently erected.
Mayor Ivan Čehok, who was present in the ceremony, pointed out that, considering its appearance points to the essence of his work, it is the only sculpture of Nikola Tesla that most clearly shows the greatness of his work.
“We decided to place it in our renovated Technology Park because, in fact, this monument goes with innovation, with what today represents the innovation potential not only of Varaždin but also of Croatia,” said Čehok.
“The installation started a month ago, first preparing the entire foundation structure, grounding, then placing legs up to six meters high, then pouring concrete and adjusting the balance of the plane. Then we lifted the upper torso, arms, and head with two cranes of twenty meters. six months of planning and three years, which he “spent” in studios, foreign and domestic exhibitions, the monument to Nikola Tesla finally found a permanent home in front of the Technology Park building in Varaždin, a city institution dealing with new technologies’’, Nikola Vudrag told Jutarnji.
Total Croatia included Nikola Tesla in its guide to Croatian inventions and discoveries, which you can read HERE.
You can find more information about the city of Varaždin in Total Croatia’s Varaždin in a Page 2021.
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