Jadranka Munitić born in Dubrovnik

Jadranka Mihajlovic Munitic was born on 26 September 1960 in Dubrovnik, Croatia. She is a member of the Croatian Painter’s Association in Dubrovnik, where she has been living and working her whole life. She has been exhibiting her artwork for many years at the premises of the centuries old Dubrovnik Synagogue, situated in the Jewish Street, in the heart of the Old Town.

The technique is unprecedented and unique in the world

One of the most renowned contemporary artists in Croatia; loved by the public for her large, strongly colored and hypnotic canvases.

Located in the charming Old Town, Homa Gallery is highly respected by artists, curators and locals alike. It is a wonderful surprise for the tourists strolling around the medieval streets of Dubrovnik, looking for original Croatian art. Profoundly in love with her native town, Munitic recreates an almost fantastic view of Dubrovnik’s symbols and landmarks such as the Rector’s Palace, the Cathedral, the harbor, the boats, the old streets and the sea. Her paintings are displayed at Homa Gallery, alongside other artworks by contemporary Croatian artists.

The technique is unprecedented and unique in the world. The procedure starts by gluing different materials onto the canvas, obtaining a collage like effect and giving it compactness. Prepared in this way, the surface is then coated with several layers of colour, allowing each to dry before the other one is applied. This technique results in an unusual texture and a 3D visual effect on the canvas.
All artworks are protected by way of a copyright at the EU level.

In her first paintings, Jadranka was mostly using red, yellow and orange shades, creating the atmosphere of warmth, of a hot summer day on Stradun.

Another characteristic of those paintings is the use of the impasto, applied particularly in details, to articulate for instance the Moon or the clock tower.

Those paintings reflect live energy, candidness, artlessness and almost childish playfulness. Artworks made in large lines, by using a spatula, inspired by Mediterranean motives also belong to this phase.

Here is what the art critic Tonći Šitin wrote about those works: “In the wake of Dulčić or Baica, the painter creates her intimate atmospheres as an authentic interpretation of the Town, but also of the people living there who, unseen by us, watch us with their eyes of transparent emerald of the sky or sea. The excellence of the author’s perceptive faculty together with metaphorical connotations and utterly concrete and surprising painting results represents her as an artistically formed personality, speaking “from her” and without a need of imitation. Continuing to these, she produces works with prevailing white and blue colouring, but the motives remain the same. We again encounter Dubrovnik scenes, the fortress of St John, the Old Town’s Harbour and the Clock Tower. This time, the author left space for tonal gradations, with lots of shades in blue fields. The windows of the fortress of St John are set in a rhythmic series, creating thus a pictorial play on the monumental motive of the picture.

With this text I would like to express myself and my vision to those who appreciate and have recognized my artistic expression. My pictures reflect my longterm struggle to express myself through a very unusual technique, allowing me to conjure up my sensibility and my inner joy. At the same time, I wish to wake up in others the same sense of joy and personal satisfaction, the felling we are all capable of creating our own worlds and of enjoying them, without felling lonesome and incapable, which is fundamental for happiness in today’s insecure and material world, surrounding us by creating pressure instead of joy of living.

My technique (I have it copyrighted) is a result of long years of reflection and of the reminiscences of my early childhood days, little joys of a child who wasn’t growing up in abundance and material, like sparklingly decorated New Year’s pine tree, sugar candies wrapped in shimmering foil of various colours, church processions of sumptuous liturgical robes moving through the streets of the Town, music boxes, gilded gondolas, circuses, costume balls, in one word, all that magic making a child happy and excited.

However, my inspiration firstly goes to the theatre: that is where, as a child, I was feeling comfortable and protected. I wasn’t drawn there for the plays, but for the atmosphere around me, that crimson red velvet decor and the sounds of the stage boards, all that tempting kitsch, genuine and beautiful.

Dubrovnik is my native town, a European town of museums, a baroque town full of gold and luxury. It all inspired me to adopt the technique allowing me to make its reality alive on the canvas. I thought I would never succeed in realizing it, but luckily my desire was stronger, and my happiness immeasurable when it happened. My lifetime dream came true. In the beginning, I was using shimmering pieces of paper by gluing them on the canvas, but later I started working with more compact, modern industrial materials that made it possible to achieve what I was longing for, and that was the light. I therefore define my painting as the modern baroque on my way.

My artistic creation can be divided in three phases: the light phase, characterized by blue and white tones, referring to purity that surrounds me in reality. The second phase is colourful, colours coming out from museums and bearing something theatrical and luxurious such as fire that I then apply to external world. In that regard, I was also inspired by Jewish weddings, torahs and the splendours of the original tradition of the Jewish culture that I came to know through my daily encounters with the synagogue and its museum in Dubrovnik (the second oldest in Europe with layered history).

The third phase is marked by dark paintings, the images of the night, expressing strength and the feeling of power. Two elements are omnipresent in my art: the Sun and the Moon, symbolizing day and night in our lives. This particular technique of mine enabled me to express my personal joy, be sending you all a message to try to find your own self and your sensibility. I will, on my side, continue trying and working in order to improve my avant-garde art, not only for my own pleasure but to be shared will you as well. Finally let us all invest our good will, work, good energy and originality in order to feel good and take over those engaged in destroying the humanity and happiness by the way they behave, let them feel uncomfortable so they start changing themselves for themselves in first place. Instead of satisfying the form, we should create and live connected.

This text is intended for my new catalogue and my new exhibition taking place on the Hawaiian Islands, so different from the small Mediterranean Dubrovnik. If you happen to come to my town in order to discover its centuries long history, you will be welcome to pay a visit to my atelier, situated within the premises of the synagogue.

An Intense Encounter with Dubrovnik

After her sojourn through a plethora of life experiences, within the circle of Dubrovnik artists appears Jadranka Munitic, and not by chance. Her artistic path is a natural extension of her life as a curator that recognises and predicts the unveiling of hidden talents. Jadranka could have continued to traverse the globe, relishing in the discovery of artists and their works, but the brave exploration of her own inner creativity led the artist, after a number of years, to make her own artistic mark on the world, with the first public exhibition of her original works. To date, whether in acrylics, calcimine or a variety of combinations, her work conveys an acute sense of passion and a determination for artistic evolution.

At first glance, her original works suggest that she has suddenly exited from a strictly traditional school, emerging with a unique voice and a fanciful freedom of expression. The metamorphosis of the carte blanche canvass into the Dubrovnik landscape is akin to an oyster giving up its precious pearl.

Jadranka’s art rebirths the beauty of the city of stone in its constant motif of a sensational cultural-historical idealized Arcadia, an absolute vision of a life within the narrowest confines of colour and light. Dubrovnik as an artistic credo is a constant inspiration that intensifies Jadranka’s aesthetic perception. She listens passionately to the beat of its secretive heart, tapping into the rhythm of its grand and unique life. Playfulness motivates the artist to bring an enthusiastic and effortless openness of palette to her acrylics, as well as bringing forth intensely contrasting aspects and dynamics.

Dubrovnik’s cityscapes, from its Knezeva dvora, cathedrals and Lovrijenca to its Vrata of Pila, Straduna and ports with ancient merchant ships, are etched into twilight and dawn in a contented euphoria of colour, an impressionistic flutter of bluish and turquoise tones, the golden hues of an altar and the flickering glow of stars and moonlight. From the depths of her childhood, the memories of museums, treasures and trinkets are contained like the sugar lollies in candy boxes, revealing the unruly clarity of the shadows of her birthplace. Jadranka amalgamates the physiological with the inner essence of being, infusing her work with idyllic lyricism.

Following in the light of Dulcic and Baic, the artist creates her own intimate and deeply personal interpretation of the city and its unseen inhabitants, observing us through the transparent emerald eyes of the sky and sea. Lastly, the spectrum and power of the metaphoric connotations* and surprising solidarity of her art places Jadranka Munitic in a position as a unique and impressive artist.

Following in the light of Dulcic and Baic, the artist creates her own intimate and deeply personal interpretation of the city and its unseen inhabitants who observe us through the transparent emerald eyes of the sky and sea.