Zlatan Vehabović is a painter who turned to the challenges presented by newer technologies, artistic activism, cultural globalisation – in short, to the increasingly complex and problematic modernity. He opted for a filed comprising two essentially intertwined cultural phenomena: from classic films, especially popular feature films, and adventure books.
When it comes to inter-painting (intertextual) relations to film, it should be noted that Vehabović doesn't use direct quotations taken from certain movies or styles. Rather, he quotes the structural film sign: film narration. In other words, he tries to find ways to make his paintings translate the viewing experience through a painting that can be seen as the equivalent of a single movie shot.
When it comes to the other pole of Vehabović's art poetics, the one which concerns adventure novels, the link to that particular source of inspiration is more easily noticeable. Whether portraying boys and girls in the beginning of adolescence, stranded ships, empty tents in forests, people whose faces are hidden by the shadows of their cloaks, people in wilderness, we, as viewers, can recognize the typical motives of literary adventure: open spaces in nature, the uncertainty which is combined with threats or secrets, loneliness, the possibility of departure or escape, etc.
It also seems that Vehabović's interest in the culture od adventurism has coincided with the phenomenon of the renewal of big modernist stories, the kind where individual improvement, the battle of the individual with the natural and social problems of the world and the individual's physical (survival) and spiritual salvation take precedence over the civilization's economic, political and economic progress.
Zlatan Vehabović (Banja Luka, 1982) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, where he he attends postgraduate doctoral studies. His works have been exhibited in various group exhibitions, the more recent being the Biennial of Painting, Croatian Association od Artists (Zagreb, Croatia, 2013), Lacunae, Spinnerei (Leipzig, Germany, 2013), T-HT@MSU.HR, Museum of Contemporary Art (Zagreb, Croatia, 2012), After the Fall, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art (New York, USA, 2010), 48 Zagreb Salon, Croatian Association of Artists (Zagreb, Croatia, 2010), Art and Terrorism, City Gallery Bihać (Bihać, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2009), Essl Award Winners ,Kunstforum Galerie (Regensburg, Germany 2008). He won several prices, among them the Big Award of 48 Zagreb (2010), The International Association of Art Critics Award (2009), Second Essl Award for Central/Southeast Europe (2006). Zlatan Vehabović is a member of the Croatian Association of Artists. He is currently teaching at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. He lives and works in Zagreb, Croatia.
Exhibition views, Cursed Crew, Lauba House, Zagreb, 2015
Photos: Damir Žižić