To be born in Podravina means that from an early age, one appreciates; the blue sky and blue eyed people, thick willows and slender girls, old oaks and young men, the slow and sleepy Drava and a quick deer, an early morning call of a proud rooster and the echoing sound of church bells in the evening.
Podravina is a province of Croatia, and rests between the Hungarian plains and mountain range of Bilogora. Its beauty is enriched by constant soft whispers flowing from the Drava and is caressed by gentle breezes dancing through the golden seas of swaying wheat and cornfields, and endless plains covered in blankets of beautiful wild flowers.
Playful birds and soft, dreamy clouds float through the sky painting it into an ever-changing masterpiece that improves with every season and every movement.
Especially in it’s beautifully blooming and singing springs, warm, sweet summers and rich, golden autumns. The graceful and gorgeous winters are like brides in crisp white lace wedding dresses.
With prayer but sometimes with swearing too…people that are born here are thirsty for life, knowledge and love. The skies are torn by church bell towers and factory chimneys.
On summer nights you can hear love sigh from afar along side the contrasting beat of disco music and the distant roar of the motorbike engines, together with frog concerts, which for a moment are all interrupted by the sound of a solitary otter. Modern times have brought progress through impending technology and improved communication.
However a sensual charge has fallen from the sky and stayed here ever since; scattered and planted in small vineyards and large dancing halls.
Is the strong powerful Drava and the hot Hungarian blood responsible for the full breasts and dangerous looks from Podravina girls! Or is it the morning dew coupled with the restless wind of spring! ?
Maybe the responsibility falls onto the ancient ancestors and their genetic predisposition for songs, work, love and art all of which flow in the blood of the people from Podravina.
Not even the northern winds, that bring snow over the Hungarian steppes can cool down the desire in the eye or the blush on the cheek of a man from Podravina when he’s melting in the arms of his loved one with the sound of violins playing in the background...
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 107. one-man and group exhibitions in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Croatia, USA, former Yugoslavia and France. Since 1985, he lives and works in Paris.
Phone Croatia: +385 98 428 950
Phone France: +33 950 674 391