By the end of the 20th century, as various experimental and conceptual art movements began to lose their appeal with the passage of time, figurative art gradually regained its place in the focus of art critics and the public. The “gap in collective memory” regarding figurative art in the Western world is almost forgotten by anyone. Eugen Varzić is a painter of photographic realism, enjoying the creation of motifs recognizable to the “average eye,” infusing them with a life worthy of the most accomplished painters from the Renaissance to the present day.
A pure-blooded painter by vocation, Varzić is an unrivaled master of his craft. Surgically precise in every fragment of his artistic expression, he is equally convincing when portraying hyperdimensional portraits, capturing every tiny hair, strand of hair, or the smallest wrinkle on an old person’s face, as well as in gestural moments where the artistic gesture surpasses the technical aspect of the craft. Varzić’s painting is powerful. It is rich in colors, with juicy layers of paint reminiscent of Italian Mannerist painters, and the compositions seem to have been “captured” by some of the finest cameras with sharpened color sensors. If hyperrealism strolled through the seventies as a bridge between abstract art and the Transavantgarde, then Varzić’s contribution in the context of the Croatian art scene is a bridge between academic realism and a genuine painterly experience. No one can remain immune to his large formats and vivid colors that seem to jump out of the canvas. His works burst with energy, and the paintings seem to “fight” with each other through their characters. Personally, I have read much more from Eugen’s works than just skilled craftsmanship; in fact, I have always been fascinated by his ability to transition from perfection to gentle incompleteness and subtly blend the expressive and rational aspects. He is an artist who, had he lived during the peak of painting’s greatest flourishing, would undoubtedly have been one of the most engaged and best-paid masters of the craft in the then-known world.