Wednesday, 2 December 2020

PHOTOS: Huge New Street Art by Zagreb's Lunar in Rijeka and Dobrinj

December 2, 2020 – Streets have been noticeably quieter over recent days, although not by one building in Rijeka and a roadside in Dobrinj, Krk island, where renowned street artist, Zagreb's Lunar, has left two huge new murals

The cafes are closed but, what's more, there's a chill in the air. It's not only the lockdown that has made the streets of Croatia more quiet than usual at this time of year. Over recent days, temperatures have dropped to around zero when the sun falls. And it falls early. The light can be gone by 5pm.


Exercise or a simple pleasant stroll around the Christmas lights have been all that's been drawing folks out onto the streets after dark, save for the food delivery guys whose bikes whizz past you faster than ever in the chill. Even during the day, the streets of Croatia are quieter than normal because of the lockdown.


But, these days haven't been anything other than normal for acclaimed artist Slaven Kosanovic aka Zagreb's Lunar. The cooler temperatures have only meant wearing more clothes and the quieter streets have not made his careful craftsmanship any quicker. His sometimes vast murals often require him to be above pedestrians passing below, up a ladder or even on a crane.

Kulturni Dobrinj128523235_153713856498789_2905816790945272195_o.jpgDobrinj

The two new paintings of Zagreb's Lunar definitely fall at the larger end of the works he has produced over the last 25+ years. One towers above street level on an entire building facade in Rijeka. So tall is the painting that trying to take it all in could strain your neck in the wrong wind. The other piece, in Dobrinj, Krk island, is just as epic, although this vast canvas lies horizontal, by the roadside.

wide126953963_1098489497276255_8725607179832799540_o.jpgThe Rijeka mural is dedicated to the city's music scene - you can spot some of the names of famous Rijeka bands in the painting

The Rijeka mural of Zagreb's Lunar, which he painted alongside his brother, with whom he often collaborates, is a four-story wall of cats dedicated to Rijeka's famous music scene. The mural took two days to complete. In the mural, you can spot the names of many Rijeka music groups like The Siids. Let 3, Denis & Denis and Jonathan. The mural is another part of the manifestations organised in celebration of Rijeka 2020 Capital of Culture.


Krk island is a well-known tourist destination, but the pretty inland village of Dobrinj is far from the regular path of visitors. Anyone travelling past the enormous mural Zagreb's Lunar and his brother have left here will surely remember the name of Dobrinj. It may well entice some to come looking for it – it is by far the largest piece of public art on the island. It was facilitated by the community organisation Kulturni Dobrinj.


All photos © Antonija Diklic (Rijeka) Damir Jevtic (Dobrinj)

croppedKulturni Dobrinj128425032_153713356498839_3649981858921297334_o.jpgDobrinj, with the artist, Slaven Kosanovic aka Zagreb's Lunar, on the right

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Everyone's a Critic: Strong Reactions to Rijeka Promotional Video

We've written about the recently promoted, edgy video directed by one of the most renowned Croatian directors Dalibor Matanić (who has recently received international praise and awards for his series The Paper, which was the first Croatian series to be sold to Netflix, and which, coincidentally or not takes place mostly in Rijeka) as a part of the promotion of Rijeka as the European Capital of Culture in 2020. And just like we predicted, the Rijeka promotional video stirred a lot of differing reactions.

So, Novi list, a Rijeka-based daily paper collected some of the strongest reactions to the video. Many people like the video, and those who do not like it have so many various reasons why they don't. Some of the strongest criticisms of the video complain that there is literally no culture in it, which is supposed to be the centre of attention in the European Capital of Culture promotional video. Some mention the fact that the town of Rijeka is portrayed as empty and lifeless. Some complain that Matanić was selected to direct it, ignoring his credentials we mentioned before. Some even complain about the fact that there are no religious influences present in the video. Those who saw the vide with less judgemental but still critical eyes are not sure who the target audience for the video is, who it's talking to, what the message to them is. Of course, as always in Croatia (but anywhere, really), there are people complaining about the price tag, which was around 67 thousand euro.

Some say that, while it's an absolute master-piece on its own, the video is a complete failure as a Rijeka promotional video. It's an innovative, high quality look into the dystopian town, with sci-fi influences. Vedran Jakominić, well know restaurateur from Rijeka says that he wishes the entire project of Rijeka 2020 would have this Blade Runner theme, like the video.

There are, of course, those who just love the video, what it says, the emotion it conveys. Svetozar Nilović from Peek&Poke museum in Rijeka says that he loves the video. So, one of the purposes of making the Rijeka promotional video was fulfilled - it's talked about. It's being shared on the social networks, everyone has seen it and has an opinion.