NEW YORK ARTS JOURNAL
THOMA - Tomislav Petranovic - Rvat
SURREALIST OF GREAT CLASS
by Jean Souper
World War II begins. A child of six hears shots. He sees people fall into the grave they have been forced to dig. All this is happening only few steps away from his house.
What happens to the child? An artist like Jerzy Kosinski survived his unbearable wartime experiences by transforming them into art. He wrote "The Painted Bird". Petranovich became a surrealistic painter. Like Kosinski the images in his paintings come from his immediate experience - the countryside where he lived, the fear of the people, their suffering, their survival, the survival of nature.
Petranovich s early drawings were on wood, paper, old newspaper, anything he could find that would take the imprint of charcoal.
Attached to art but faced with poverty, he joined the army and, like Apollonaire, become a pilot. But he was happiest when he was drawing and writing poems for an army newspaper. Finally, he gave up army life and married Stefica Krstanac, a school teacher, He become an art teacher himself after completing a course of study at the Zagreb Teacher Training Collage.
Petranovich found his first voice as a naïve painter, but his intellectual curiosity, his technical mastery, his vision, would not allow him to stop there. He has pushed himself to know more, to do more. It is as a surrealist painter now that Petranovich is achieving his best work, making concrete the ideas and images of Breton and Freud, pushing the vision of Magritte and de Chirico farther than might seem possible.
Petranovich s combination of dream and reality, of the real with the super real affords him the best opportunity to display his virtuoso talent in his own unique way. The content of his work - its images, colors, subject matter-come from his own life experience.
Published in New York Arts Journal
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