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Home arrow ART arrow Exodus now. The sacred power of Safet Zecís images
Exodus now. The sacred power of Safet Zecís images
Written by Luisa Turchi   

safet-zec-exodus.jpgSince forever, painting enjoyed a privileged relationship with history and religion, whether a harmonious one or an antithetical stance. Art is a mirror of its time as well as of the individual artist’s own feelings, no matter if the artist in question is a solo voice or an interpret of the common sentiment. International Bosnian artist Safet Zec is no exception. A cantor of nameless heroes, Zec shows the infinite tragedy of the persecuted, of those who flee war and become strangers in a strange land. His art, on exhibition at the Pietà Church in Venice, is meaningful for its expressive intensity. Large mixed-media canvases form two 10×3-metre polyptychs.


In the first one, aching humanity is depicted as they silently wait for something. Men, women, children left to their own devices in a symphony of lights and shadows, naked and shrouded bodies, sashes and tunics of white, the colour of unbowed purity.


A thread of blood runs through the scene and leads to the morrow and to promise. In the following scene is a multitude of migrants. The dawning sun makes room for darkness, concentrating on the horrifying sight of the dead body of an infant, presumably drowned at sea. The detailed figures, the dynamism of the painting make for an epic piece of art as well as a very personal one –Zec himself lived in first person exile as he fled his war-torn hometown of Sarajevo.

Curator Giandomenico Romanelli explains how “there is no doubt Zec’s language reveres a classical legacy, a noble, high sense of academic mastery of painting, where knowledge and practice, study and inquiry, technical virtuosity and experience are the essential substratum of perfect realization of an original poetic discourse – profoundly new as well as solidly ancient.”


exodus_2017-particolare_01.jpgCaravaggio, Tintoretto, Rembrandt, Lucian Freud, Tiepolo, Francis Bacon, Stuck, Sartorio, Ettore Tito, Lovis Corinth are the models that influences Safet Zec, who studied extensively Renaissance and Mannerism painting as well as Neo-classicism, Symbolism, and Expressionism.


The artist masters chalcography, etching, aquatint, slack wax, drypoint. An important collection of engravings is now exhibited at Scoletta della Bragora, in the San Marco area in Venice. Zec lives and works in Sarajevo, Počitelj, Paris, and Venice, where he has a studio and he receives visitors on appointment.

«Safet Zec. Exodus»
Until 30 November 2017
Chiesa della Pietà, Scoletta della Bragora

Safet Zec. Studio, San Francesco della Vigna