Frane Mlinar - Croatian Hyper Realism
"I’m trying to reach perfection with my paintbrush only." - Frane Mlinar
Born in Split, Croatia in 1959 Frane Mlinar gained acclaim in his home country as the youngest member of the Croatian Association of Fine Arts (HDLU), joining the organization at 23. He is commonly referred to as a hero of the Croatian Hyper-Realism movement with his international reach bringing attention to the movement
Mlinar's circuitous route to the position of full time artist began in 1975 with his attendance of the High School of Art where he focused on graphic design. He continued his education at the Art Academy of Sarajevo and earned a masters degree in Teaching Art Techniques in 1984.
He worked for some time as the curator of the Diocletian art gallery in Split. While working in the gallery Mlinar became interested in the clear-eyed detail of the old paintings writing that
“I was especially impressed with an amazing attention to detail on very small sized paintings and a freshness of the paint that was several centuries old. That became a real challenge to me and I’ve decided that with today’s art materials, it would be a shame to not give it a try"
Mlinar's art style is best described as luminous. He paints from both life and the imagination, often blending scenes and landmarks of coastal Croatia into vaguely surrealistic postcards from places that might only exist in dreams. His use of flat planes of color is juxtaposed with the intensity of the attention to detail and form which he pays to the concrete representative aspects of his work. His work is as contemporary as it is classic, with the impeccably smooth surface of his canvases showing the time and dedication he spends on his work. Inspired by the Croatian coast, many of Mliar's works are nautical-themed - boats becalmed in still water, the way the reflection ripples, the way the sea blends with the sky.
"Sea Flat" 36x48
He received a Pollock-Krasner award in 2008 and his work has been exhibited worldwide. His pieces are collected by such influential figures as winemaker Mike Grgich, Francis f. Coppola and the president of Croatia.