Eugen Varzić graduated in painting from the Department of Fine Arts at the Faculty of Philosophy in Rijeka (nowday’s Academy of Applied Arts) in 1999. He has shown his work at forty solo exhibitions and at more than a hundred collective at home and abroad. He has headed several artistic projects and worked on international visual art projects. He did further studies in art in Madrid, in the workshops of Eloy Morales and Antonio López Garcia. For a number of years he has taken part in benefit auctions of paintings. Occasionally he engages in design, short films, illustration and picture book making, running art workshops and tutoring future students of art academies. At the first TEDxPula conference in Istria he had a talk called Art as Breathing. A freelance artist, he lives and works in Istria, Croatia, EU.
Meet the artist
Meet the art
I paint life. My focus has always been on figuration, on realism. Every day is a new story, a new challenge, a new struggle. I choose the people around me as my motivation. Since early days, I have been enamored with the works of the old masters and their skills and techniques. Looking back, I realize that I may have focused on realism because it was the closest solution to the idea of creating something different, something others couldn’t or wouldn’t dare to. It was a way to challenge myself. I spent a short time perfecting the techniques and processes behind creating art, rather than the art itself.
I moved on to the message, to the psychological, moral, and ethical values I want to represent, to the internal struggles that models may carry within themselves. My paintings show the process as it is, raw and unfiltered, imperfect. The trace of the brush is visible, my presence in the painting, setting them apart from the realm of hyperrealism. When I started working on this and thinking about it, I realized that it would be the principle of “take no prisoners” in my work. I went to work and learn with the best in the world, making significant strides and connections.
My inspirations and teachers differ from the environment in which I live and create. The feeling was fantastic and gave me the strength for even more and better things. And most importantly, it gave me a sense that everything is possible. I want to do something rarely done in art. Something that leaves the observer outside their comfort zone, standing in front of my works of art and making them question if what they are experiencing is actually possible. That’s where I try to survive and create. This idea keeps me going, although I must admit it’s not easy.
Almost every day, I ask myself numerous questions, to which there is only one answer: creation. This daily ritual gives me a reason to live. The ritual of continuous learning, changing, choosing the hardest path, constantly asking questions, keeping a clear head, and having faith. My paintings are like painted diaries that tell me when I was happy, when I was afraid, when I painted hypnotically… when I was hungry.
For me, painting is like breathing.