Painter of poetic realism, Davor Žilić was born on 7th of January in lovely little town Petrinja, settled on two rivers in the heart of Republic Croatia. Since he was a little boy, his artistic talent as his main expression was recognized as a miraculous painting, so of course it’s easy to understand his following words which he uses to describe his feelings for art: “Painting is a great part of me – like a need for food or sleep. I paint since I remember. I don’t recall have I ever wanted to be or do something else besides being a painter and to paint. “
In the year 1989, he started attending The School of Applayment Art – Fine Art Painting section in Croatian capital city Zagreb and soon after, as the war in Croatia started, his calm and nice childhood was cut off as he became a refuge and had to leave his hometown to find a safe place to live, study and paint. The only preciousness he had, beside his family, was his ability to paint that helped him survive through those tough times.
After his art high schooling, 1993 he enrolled in The Academy of Fine Art in Zagreb as the best candidate on academic evaluation. As a student, he won the competition among his professors and professional artists and designers in designing a postmark for the Day of the Planet Earth, contributed to the protection of wolf that was published by Croatian Telekom (HT). On 17th of June 1997 he graduated in the class of professor Josip Vasilije Jordan and as the best graduated-student of the year 1997, he won The Special Reward of Academy of Fine Art and Zagreb Bank. Soon he became a member of Croatian Association of Art (HDLU) and International Association of Art – UNESCO. In January 2004 he was finalist of "The Art Renewal Center International Salon Competition" and in April of the same year he won Award of Merit at international Portrait Competition of The Portrait Society of America.
In the summer of 1995 war ended and his hometown Petrinja was liberated, so he finally moved back home where he lives and works as a professional painter. To his hometown he dedicated his first limited edition art book with 12 characteristic town’s motives, called “Dreaming of Petrinja” published in the year 1997.
St. Wendel, Germany
opened by Doris Pack
Davor Žilić had 51 exhibition throughout Croatia an Europe where he already made his reputation and has his loyal audience. He painted and gave sacral icons to war-devastated churches in Jasenovac, Vukovar, Gospić and Petrinja. Also during his military service 1998, he led a construction of militarily St. Nikola Tavelić’s chapel in Pula for which he painted all 14 stations of the Way of the Cross and portraits of three Croatian saints.
As Croatian representative, his first international exhibition was 2001 in Croatian Cultural Centre of Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in London, sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia. Second international exhibitions he had in Frankfurt’s International Theatre (Germany) same year. In April of 2002 in Maribor (Slovenia) he exhibited together with other fine art painters from his home region, and then in October of 2002 he had an exhibition in "Gallerie Pfeiffer", St. Wendel, Germany opened by Doris Pack.
Davor’s paintings are surprising, almost shocking because all their motives are known and intimated, they surround us all the time, but before we see his art, it feels like it has been never seen before. And that is a real sense of Davor’s art – to wake feelings for which there is no time and place anymore, to wake nostalgia, pride, the greatest joy, warmth, maybe sadness for lost youth that can be found again, at least for a moment. His vision of the world is defined, clear and so strong that can be felt by all who gets in touch with it, that’s what makes his work so attractive and special.