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Jurak, Drago

A retired carpenter’s assistant, he lived in Zagreb, where he used to work making scenery for the Croation National Theatre. He began painting his fantastic constructions in 1960, using ink and flowmaster on silk. Simple and modest, having had no schooling, he probably discerned in the backdrops for theatrical productions the contours of his future phantasmagoric buildings and towns. He uses a steep central perspective. The persons walking to the vanishing point are proportionally tiny in comparison with the huge buildings.

Asked what his pictures represent, Jurak replies: “They are old towns where modern people could live today. There are towers linked by iron, decorated with carving and built on a hill from which a majestic view may be had. Then come the streets, squares, football fields. I would like to build into such a town everything our seamen have seen as they wandered the earth and stopped at big ports of the world, things they told me about. My favorite pastime is listening to the stories of our seamen when they talk about where they have been and what they have experienced. I know that no country could build such a city, it would too expensive, but if countries would get together, then it would be possible.”